Photographer Gregory Crewdson is a prime example of an artist following the tableux vivants, capturing truly fascinating scenes with a static and eerie stillness. Each piece is elaborately staged with the aid of a professional crew, where Crewdson is able to envision and create an often surreal sense of foreboding tension around characters situated in an eerie environment.
In this piece, a couple seem devoid and loss in the bedroom. An array of objects litter the makeup table from beauty products to obscure pills and even a bird who stares questioningly at the woman. We are refrained from looking anywhere else in the image as a fence and wall of another house blocks any outside view from the patio door, with the walls of the bedroom and bathroom keeping our view in. As we continue to try and piece the image together, we are left with only ambiguous thoughts with no clear or defined truth.
Some further examples that seek to defy our understanding of an image, leaving only ambiguous thoughts as to what is happening in each shot. This piece features a motionless town left in 'pause' as signified by the amber signals of traffic lights, with a single left on and abandoned in the middle of the road.
In this piece, a taxi is left with a passenger and no driver, where the passenger door is left wide open. Are we then to assume the woman standing barefoot in the middle of a road, seemingly in tears and clutching onto something, is the driver?
And finally, a boy and a naked women in a caravan seemingly stare at each other for eternity, as emphasised by the reflection of the large puddle. His home and mother? Or something seemingly more sinister and disturbing.
Nothing is ever clear or definitive in Crewdon's constructed pieces. Effectively, we are confronted by the familiar in contrast to something strange which creates the ambiguous, uncanny and unsettling nature of each piece.
To see the lengths at which Crewdon carefully composes his scenes, watch a interview of him below. It's really quite fascinating showcasing Crewdon's two very different approaches to his works, and the resulting piece of a massively constructed set in a live location.