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Jill Greenberg

October 4, 2008 - January 18, 2009
Artist's Talk, Book Signing and Opening Reception: October 4, 5:00-8:00pm
Gallery Talk: November 6, 1:00pm

Copyright Jill Greenberg
Untitled, from the Ursine series
“I look at everyone’s work. Being a good photographer is also about looking at real life, and being observant about everything."

—Jill Greenberg


The Manipulator
Highly conceptual, elaborately designed, and uniquely executed, Greenberg’s professional work has spawned many emulators. In the early 1990’s Jill Greenberg became known as “The Manipulator” as a result of the surreal portraits she created by transforming images using light effects, distortion and other digital enhancements.

Long before it became the digital tool of every photographer Greenberg was using Photoshop to make the shiny, hyper-real imagery that is now her trademark. Her subjects’ shimmering, supernaturally perfect skin has a luminosity and intensity than can often feel too close for comfort. This razor-sharp altered universe of saturated colors staring back at us is, somehow, made to feel more compelling and intense than the one we live in.

End Times
Greenberg’s End Times, features larger than life size prints of stylized, hyper-real close-ups of children’s faces contorted by emotional distress.

“The artist uses the wailing distress of the children as an allegory for the deepest fears of the human species as a whole, and draws on the vocabulary of Christian millennialism, conspiracy theory culture and doomsday environmentalism to title the work . . . Not only are the images compelling but Greenberg burrows deep to extract difficult conversation about the current American moment.” –Ami Kealoha, in Cool Hunting

Monkey Portraits

Jill Greenberg’s “Monkey Portraits,” presents classically posed primates with amusing, beguiling and disarming results. These intimate and anthropomorphic portraits of monkeys convey a startling range of emotions and personalities, and evoke an almost eerie sense of recognition.

“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 anthropomorphizing her monkeys, we can’t help but identify with their gaze, and be reminded of people we know, expressions that we have seen before.” –Evan Orensten

Ursine features large-scale portraits of grizzly, black, and polar bears, sporting a variety of anthropomorphically menacing, comical, and quixotic expressions and postures. Taken in a specially constructed outdoor photo studio in Calgary and Vancouver, they continue Greenberg’s exploration of animal identity.

Jill Greenberg was born in Montreal, Canada, and grew up in Detroit. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography and then moved to New York City to pursue a career in photography. After twelve years she left New York and opened a commercial studio in Los Angeles. Over the last fifteen years, Greenberg has made memorable images of many of the world’s most recognizable celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Venus Williams, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, David Bowie, Drew Barrymore, Werner Herzog, Clint Eastwood, Shakira, Jon Stewart, Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg, Sean Combs and Gwen Stephani.

Greenberg’s commercial and corporate clients include Microsoft, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Compaq, Polaroid, Disney, Dreamworks, Sony Pictures, Phillip Morris, Fox, Target, Kraft Foods, Frito Lay, HBO, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Smirnoff, MTV, Warner Bros., Sony Music, and Atlantic Records. Editorial clients and features include Time Magazine, Harper’s, TV Guide, Newsweek, LA Times, Fast Company, Maxim, Internet Times, US News and World Report, Wired and Entertainment Weekly.

She received awards in 1997 and 2006 from the Communications Arts and Communications Arts Photography Annuals, and in 2007 was honored by American Photography. Her published work includes End Times (Kopeikin Gallery, 2006) and Monkey Portraits (Bulfinch, 2006).

PLEASE NOTE: The Southeast Museum of Photography exhibits, collects, preserves, and interprets photography to facilitate teaching and learning at Daytona State College.  This is our primary goal, and is the driving force behind the exhibitions that we bring to the area.  By hosting the exhibition, Photographs by Jill Greenberg, the Southeast Museum of Photography and Daytona State College are in no way endorsing or supporting the views or opinions set forth by Jill Greenberg in her recently released images of John McCain.  This particular exhibition of her work was organized years in advance, consequently the images currently being debated have not, and will not be included in the exhibition. Thank you for your understanding.

Jill Greenberg (ursine) Jill Greenberg (end times) Jill Greenberg (monkey)
Untitled, from the Ursine series Four More Years, from the End Times series Monkey Suit, from the Monkey Portraits series
Monkeys_Jill Greenberg Bears_Jill Greenberg
Installation Images



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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.

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