#32 Gregory Crewdson – Beneath the Roses

by Allison H.




“The “Beneath the Roses” series can be seen as a psychological study of the American province. The settings show social realities and document the economic decline of a society behind the backdrop of the American way of life. ”

“The stagings are planned and arranged in advance down to the smallest detail and then elaborately implemented in a major logistical and human effort. The final photograph is the result of what is frequently work lasting several weeks, a circumstance that is substantiated by its depths in terms of content and its technical perfection.”

The photographer intends to portray working-class life in America, but as far as I am concerned, I found it a little bit fake when I saw these photographs. Often, there are a lot of similar works in this style of staging, meaning well-established lighting, perfect texture of the wall, the furniture, carefully chosen colors, and often featuring the human subject with stiff or unnatural pose. Sometimes I even wondering whether it is photography or a rendered still of a 3D animation. I think the reason is, when you are too obsessed with the visual details, it will lead you to overdoing it. I don’t really dislike this kind of photographic style, but I think sometimes it doesn’t match with the concept of the work. And the perfection somehow makes me feel unrealistic, so it’s hard to convince me of how the series shows social realities and how it documents the economic decline. I just don’t feel connected to these images.