Beneath the Roses

Gregory Crewdson

Crewdson’s new photo book hits the perfect note between eerie familiarity and creepy confusion. Unlike his past books, the images in this collection don’t have the theatrical, almost unbelievably staged, look. Instead, the images are shot in small towns perfect for their generic blandness. Every page gave me irritating deja vu. I’ve been to that town, haven’t I? Isn’t that in Wisconsin? Or did we drive through on the way to South Dakota? Or maybe somewhere in Minnesota? While the towns with their gently decaying houses, snow-filled streets, generic businesses and empty parking lots could be anywhere, the subjects of the images are unsettlingly striking. Why are they standing in the half-light in the middle of the intersection and what are they looking at. Who is that scared woman looking at in the mirror? What are they digging in the woods?