Gregory Crewdson (born September 26, 1962) is an American photographer who is best known for elaborately staged scenes of American homes and neighborhoods. Crewdson was born in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. He attended John Dewey High School, graduating early. As a teenager, he was part of a punk rock group called The Speedies that hit the New York scene in selling out shows all over town. Their hit song "Let Me Take Your Photo" proved to be prophetic to what Crewdson would become later in life. In 2005, Hewlett Packard used the song in advertisements to promote its digital cameras. In the mid 1980s, Crewdson studied photography at SUNY Purchase, near Port Chester, NY. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence, Cooper Union, Vassar College, and Yale University where he has been on the faculty since 1993. He is now a professor at the Yale University School of Art. In 2012, he was the subject of the feature documentary film Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters. Gregory Crewdson is represented by Gagosian Gallery worldwide and by White Cube Gallery in London.
Crewdson's photographs usually take place in small-town America, but are dramatic and cinematic. They feature often disturbing, surreal events. His photographs are elaborately staged and lit using crews familiar with motion picture production and lighting large scenes using motion picture film equipment and techniques. He has cited the films Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blue Velvet, and Safe as having influenced his style, as well as the painter Edward Hopper and photographer Diane Arbus.
Crewdson’s photography became a convoluted mix between his formal photography education and his experimentation with the ethereal perspective of life and death, a transcending mix of lively pigmentation and morbid details within a traditional suburbia setting. Crewdson was unknowingly in the making of the Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art, earning him a following both from his previous educators and what would become his future agents and promoters of his work. The grotesque yet beautifully created scenes were just the beginning of Crewdson’s work, all affected with the same narrative mystery he was so inspired by in his childhood and keen eye for the surreal within the regular. Fireflies, has become a standout amongst his collections known for their heightened emotion and drama compared to its simplicity of color and spontaneity. the exploration of form within his own work was evident within his transformation of how the photo was taken rather than just focusing on the subject.