Category Archives: Project 1 Setting the scene

Research Point – Gregory Crewdson

Fascinating documentary following the work of Gregory Crewdsen as he prepares and takes the photos of his cinematic scale images using cinematic-lights a film-crew of up to 60, professional actors, cranes, assistance from police and fire departments, closure of streets exactly as a scene from a movie would be organized, staged and shot only instead of a cinematic movie camera Crewdson uses a large-format still camera.  He will then take the best examples and merge them together in Photoshop collage them in to one final perfect image.

Do I think there is more to this work than aesthetic beauty?

yes, I find his images both beautiful and disturbing, as I believe, is his intention in order to create an interesting and engaging narrative.

Do I think Crewdson succeeds in making his work ‘psychological’?  What does this mean?

Yes, I do.  His pictures are almost dream like, the scenes are very surreal.  They encourage the audience to wonder what is happening? what has just happened? what is about to happen?  They are like that moment in a dream that is taking that turn in to the nightmare.  This touches on our own imagination, our own fears, our own anxieties.

What is your main goal when making pictures?  Do you think there’s anything wrong with making beauty your main goal?  Why or why not?

My main goal is to make interesting pictures, if the subject matter is beauty then that is what I want to create, if the subject matter is not then I want to make the image suitable for the subject with a choice of composition that holds the audience at least for a little while.  I do not think that there is anything wrong in making beautiful pictures; but it can become a little dull and boring if we can not vary the subject matter and produce images that offer some kind of narrative or symbiotic meaning that can engage, challenge and even entertain the audience in some way.

I like Crewdson’s pictures they may not be as subtle as Wall or DiCorcia but they are very well made and they can appeal to a public that doesn’t have to first have an acquired taste or understanding of art to appreciate the picture that they are viewing.

 

 

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Jeff Wall’s Invisible Man

Invisible man by Jeff Wall is great constructed image, this picture has been inspired by a novel by Ralph Ellison ‘Invisible Man’ published in 1952 about a man who falls in to a forgotten basement during a riot and makes it his home.  He fills the ceiling with 1369 light bulbs that he illegally wires up.  This scene has been painstakingly constructed with every item representing the character and his psychological state.

Exercise – Setting the scene

In this exercise I have been asked to watch a scene from the ‘Goodfeelas’ by Martin Scorsese.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8

What does this scene tell me about the main character?

He is confident, very self-assured, he has money, at least he likes to give the impression that he has and willing to throw it around.  He wants to impress his girlfriend, he is a net-worker, he is a lair and probably a hood.

How does it do this? List the clues.

1, From the opening scene the main character gives his car keys with a Dollar bill to a doorman to park his car, he then proceeds to discreetly bribe his way to his table with Dollar bills that we later learn from his girlfriend to be $20 Dollar bills.  As he enters the club from the tradesman’s entrance  as he passes by key people he makes a point to greet them by name, some also with the bribe.  He walks through the corridors, kitchens as if he owns them, as he enters the club the manager breaks off from talking to a customer to greet him and treating him as a VIP arrange for a table for him brushing off a complaint from a customer who had clearly been waiting for a table.  The sound-track from 1960’s pop-band The Crystals, Then he kissed, me is played through out the scene to suggest romance.  When his girl friend asks him what he does, he provides an un-plausible answer that he needed a second or so provide and he avoids eye-contact.  He is given a bottle of wine from another table full of suited men implying that the main character is popular and important.