new-york

Gregory Crewdson

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

The art of photography resides not in the ever-evolving camera but in the imaginative record of what lies before its lens. (Such was the case, at least, before the advent of digital photography and Photoshop). Two modes of photographic transcription now prevail. One is journalistic, the candid record of the “factual.” The other is “artistic,” bound to the photographer’s arranging of the subject matter itself. Such arrangements may vary widely, say, from Man Ray’s cheeky pornography to the awesome stage sets of Gregory Crewdson’s vastly admirable tableaux vivants—large, staged, and eerily static.

Crewdson’s art, his ambitious conflation of a world both observed and invented, naturally hews to the cinematographic—an association he fully acknowledges. He scopes real-world settings like a location scout, but then inflects this scenery with an uncanny poetical symbolism and psychoanalytical

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