When Less Is More And The Value Of Disappointment

In an interview with "The American Reader", photographer Gregory Crewdson discusses his motivations and objectives.  His photos are often cinematic in scale and haunting - maybe even unnerving.  Crewdson has a very unique relationship with the figures in his work: "I don’t want to know them well. I don’t want to have any intimate contact with them. For all the talk of my pictures being narratives or that they’re about storytelling, there’s really very little actually happening in the pictures. One of the few things I always tell people in my pictures is that I want less—give me something less."  Thus his work is open to the widest interpretation, he is giving the viewer the opportunity to project their own narrative into the picture.

Later in the interview, Crewdson speaks of the inevitable disappointment of translating an image in his mind into the final product.  "Yes. I think that’s the nature of representation. No matter what it will disappoint, it will fail in some way.  But that’s also part of the magic of art. If every picture met my expectation in exactly the right way, there’d be no mystery; there’d be no gap between what’s in my head and the picture I make. So it’s necessary. But it sure disappoints you. It’s also what propels you to make the next one."

He argues this is the case for just about every visual or performing artist.  The desire to make something perfect, exactly right.