Over the last decade Gregory Crewdson has become a household name in contemporary art for his large-scale staged photographs. The creation of just one Crewdson photograph requires the work of over 50 crew members including actors, electricians, set designers and a cinematographer. The artist shoots on location in sleepy towns in Western Massachewsettes, often shutting down entire city blocks to use as his set.
We may not realize it now, but for much of the 19th and well into the 20th century, the circus was a really big deal in New York City. So much so that when P.T. Barnum's famous sideshow attraction, a dwarf named Tom Thumb, got married in 1863, it was one of the biggest social and media events of the era. Eclipsing, for a time, coverage of the ongoing Civil War.
Over ten years filmmaker Ben Shapiro followed photographer Gregory Crewdson, documenting his film-sized photo productions in Western Massachusetts. In his new documentary Gregory Crewdson Brief Encounters Shapiro takes us behind the scenes on Crewdson's obsessively constructed sets and inside the artist's creative process.
This week on Art Uncovered artists Paul Brainard and Frank Webster talk about the show they've curated at Allegra LaViola Gallery: Die Like You Really Mean It. The show is on view through December 3rd, 2011.