19 September 2007

Jill Greenberg's Monkey Portraits

Jill Greenberg was born in July of 1967 in Montreal and grew up in suburban Detroit. She graduated in 1989 form the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography and moved to New York City to pursue a career in photography. Jill was based in New York until 2001, and now resides in Los Angeles.

Over the last fifteen years, Greenberg has made memorable images of many of the world's most recognisable celebrities, in addition to creating a recognisable filter of vision itself. An early adopter of digital effects, Greenberg has developed a world that is more intense, more razor-sharp and supra-real, than the one in which we actually reside. Jill Greenberg creates portraits that seize our attention, that create an altered universe staring back at us.

For the series "Monkey Portraits", Greenberg has created a series of photos and asks us to consider, in another way, where we are coming from. We look into her monkey's expressions, their faces -- their peculiar physiognomy -- and somehow see ourselves. It is frightening and disorienting and exhilarating and awesome. She mischievously shows us another type of mirror-stage, where we confront an ancient and distorted reflection, another startling spectacle, and try to make sense of who, or what we are seeing. By intentionally anthropomorphising her monkeys, we can't help but identify with their gaze, and be reminded of people we know, expressions that we have seen before.

To view a a full slideshow of Jill's monkeys, click here.

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