American photographer Gregory Crewdson is best known for his uncanny images of deceptively serene suburban life. Using Hollywood film techniques and elaborate sets, Crewdson creates what he calls “frozen moments”: meticulously staged scenes whose narrative meaning remains a mystery. Throughout this series, special attention is paid to light. The twilight setting favored by the photographer functions as a metaphor, an eerie evocation of the darkness on the edge of town.
Crewdson created this twelve-part portfolio, Dream House, as a commission for The New York Times Magazine in 2002. The cinematic character of these frozen vignettes is underscored by the use of Hollywood actors (Gwyneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman among others) whose celebrity contrasts with the “any town” anonymity of their environments.