End Times…

2006_06_14_end_times.jpg

Yesterday, I noticed a new billboard, at the northeast corner of Melrose and Highland, advertising photographer Jill Greenberg‘s “End Times” exhibition at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery (the gallery has previously hosted Greenberg’s exhibition of Monkey Portraits back in 2004):

Following her enormously successful series ‘Monkey Portraits’, which debuted in October 2004, Jill Greenberg’s new work takes a more serious turn and has already hit a national nerve . “End Times” combines beautiful, poignant imagery, impeccably executed, with both political and personal relevance. Greenberg’s subject is taboo: children in pain. She utilizes this uncomfortable image as a way to break through to the pop mainstream and begin a national dialogue. Jill Greenberg’s images are sharp and saturated, stunning and quirky; her work is soaked with realism and imagination. …

Jill Greenberg explains, “The children I photographed were not harmed in any way. And, as a mother, I am quite aware of how easily toddlers can cry. Storms of grief sweep across their features without warning; a joyful smile can dissolve into a grimace of despair. The first little boy I shot, Liam, suddenly became hysterically upset. It reminded me of helplessness and anger I feel about our current political and social situation. The most dangerous fundamentalists aren’t just waging war in Iraq; they’re attacking evolution, blocking medical research and ignoring the environment. It’s as if they believe the apocalyptic End Time is near, therefore protecting the earth and future of our children is futile. As a parent I have to reckon with the knowledge that our children will suffer for the mistakes our government is making. Their pain is a precursor of what is to come.”

I’ve been a fan of Greenberg’s work for quite some time, and chances are you’ve seen her photos before, like this one for Wired.

“End Times” runs through July 8th.

11 Replies to “End Times…”

  1. Beautiful images. Trite titles.

    It suggests that Jill Greenberg isn’t the deepest of thinkers.

  2. “…utilizes this uncomfortable image as a way to break through to the pop mainstream and begin a national dialogue…”

    Or make money at the expense of others’ suffering, whichever comes first.

  3. This is stimulation for sadistic pedophiles. (Show me a pedophile and I will show you a sadist.) Nemo and Will Campbell are right on. Jill Greenberg shows herself in this instance, to be a pretentious (and I suspect loony-left) arty-farty person, one of a large number in Art colleges. As to anger at political error, she might want to add human theist lunacy, and Mother Nature red in tooth and claw. Comment back to me on cyquick.wordpress.com by all means sister. Cy

  4. I’m not nuts about Greenberg’s own description of her work but I can testify to the strength and power of the work itself after seeing the exhibit in person. They are horribly upsetting images; I did not “enjoy” the exhibit nor would I want to own one of the pieces. But her skill as an artist, in my opinion, at least matches that of her skill as provocateur.

  5. Personally I don’t think my reaction is specifically to the kids crying, but to their emotions being put into a false context coupled to the implication of them being exploited while in distress.

  6. The images linked on the website look almost plastic in quality. Like a high-art version of those glossy, exaggerated Bratz dolls – something just unnatural about them – the sheen, the glow, etc.

    Look! Sad toddlers!

    It’s like the anti-Precious Moments collection.

  7. To clarify what I said earlier, I don’t object to the images. Like Will I object to the false context and the ham-handed attempt at politicization.

    Greenberg has forced onto the pictures silly non-sequitur titles.

    The result is that it trivializes the images themself, and makes me think that Greenberg is a dope.

  8. Again, look at the Enrique M images and READ his statement. It’s always more than just the images themselves. I mentioned that because other commentors has issues with exploitation. Further, the context in which an artist places his/her work cannot really be false – there’s no right or wrong way in which an artist places meaning. It’s an opinion not a fact.

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