By constructing and then photographing elaborate tableaux, many based on the American suburban landscape, Gregory Crewdson blurs the distinction between film and photography, reality and fantasy. “I’ve always been interested in the uncanny,” he said, “in looking into ordinary situations and finding something fantastical or mysterious. I’ve always been interested in domesticity; I’ve always been interested in photographic beauty; and I’ve always been interested in a kind of realism.”
This photograph is from “Twilight,” a series of forty images that Crewdson, along with his production team, made in and around Lee, Massachusetts, between 1998 and 2002. The images were shot at dusk with ambient artificial light. This particular image was choreographed on an elaborate stage set where a boy in his underwear reaches down into a bathroom drain. The dark, empty space visible below the floor, combined with the dramatic light streaming in through the window, turns what at first appears to be a mundane scene into an inexplicable narrative.
Label from DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012, August 21, 2012–January 6, 2013