Gregory Crewdson spends months scouting locations for his large-scale, heavily staged photographs. Shot with the help of movie crews, each image suspends a moment in a story, freezing it in time. His photos have made haunted houses out of middle-class homes—a woman floating in her flooded living room, for instance—and have cast a ghoulish glow on 1950s suburban streets. Crewdson’s latest project may at first appear to be the work of a photojournalist. Set around Pittsfield, an ex-factory town north of his Berkshires home, the series presents familiar scenes of poverty, sparsely populated save for figures with vacant gazes. Upon closer inspection, Crewdson’s construction reveals itself: a truck cab on fire, a red-rimmed puddle conjuring blood, a streetlamp perfectly bisecting a parking lot. “It’s all in the effort of making a world that is beautiful and unsettling,” Crewdson recently told The New York Times. “I want it to feel both timeless and of the moment.” In our current moment, his highly artificial photos feel more lifelike than ever, an eerie twin world of our own. —C.J.F.
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