The Penitent Girl

Not sure how you would categorise the work of New York based photographer Gregory Crewdson. His pictures have extraordinary lighting which gives them an intense cinematic quality. They have narrative elements – although exactly what is happening is usually far from clear. There’s also often a dash of the supernatural, the kinky, and female nudity.

Anyway, put all that lot together and it amounts to some highly charged and unforgettable images. In this picture, note the spooky burnt patch beneath the girl’s feet. There was a rumour that went around the art world that the bare-bottomed model is Gwynneth Paltrow (click to enlarge).

Gregory Crewson 1

My favourite Crewdson picture however is this one – entitled The Penitent Girl. And what an eerily effective image of penitence it is.

The Penitent Girl 80

But what is the relationship between the girl and the woman? What has the girl done wrong? And, most intriguingly of all, what precisely is the nature of the ‘penance’ that she is paying? They’re great pictures for creating your own fantasy around anyway.

Apparently, Crewdson uses the same amount of lighting equipment as your average film crew on a feature-length movie. If only he would turn his hand to a full-on CP picture, the mind boggles how good it could be.

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