Monday, July 24, 2006

End Times by Jill Greenburg


Jill Greenburg's exhibit of crying children, featured at Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, has drawn public criticism by those who are probably hypersensitive, narrow-minded, overtly judgmental parents who have no life or ambitions to make real positive change, so they complain cowardly 0n the blogosphere, and send anonymous hate mail to the artist and gallery exhibiting the photos.


The work depicts how children would feel if they knew the state of the world they're set to inherit, explained Greenberg, whose own daughter is featured in the show. "Our government is so corrupt, with all the cronyism and corporate lobbyists," she said. "I just feel that our world is being ruined."

Four More Years

To be fair, however, the reason why no-life bloggers are up-in-arms is because of the method Greenburg used to elicit such powerful emotional responses -- she took a tootsie pop away from the children, I presume, while the kids were enjoying it. Hmm... art imitating life? But the wailing and the shoot lasted 20 or 30 seconds. The kids "sniffled a little" afterward, but then got multiple lollipops in trade for the stolen one.


Wow, she's really pissed about that lollipop.

The Truth

The images were enhanced during postproduction, Greenberg said, to make the children appear more upset than they really were. She used Photoshop to darken furrows in brows, shine tears until they glistened.


In the end, "This is more a story about blogging than about photography," said Stephen White, formerly a gallery owner and currently a private dealer and collector in Studio City. "It's about a generation that's so caught up in itself that everything it says it thinks is significant, even though it's not saying anything at all.


I recall first seeing these photos on a billboard at the intersection of La Brea and Beverly. I was with Blu-Tooth, who was disturbed. Yeah, I guess I can see why people are bothered. I just don't agree. I think the raw-ness of anger and frustration and hopelessness, especially in subjects as pure and innocent as toddlers, is beautiful and breath-taking. We as adults try to shelter kids from "negative" emotions, but those emotions are real, you know? How can you truly appreciate joy if you don't experience sorrow?

I absolutely adore the photos. Jill, you rock in DYY's world! Fuck the rest.

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