|The woman was an alcoholic|
Pittsfield, Massachusettsby Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson's best shot
'The house belonged to an alcoholic who drank herself to sleep every night.'
Thursday 21 December 2006 12.47 GMT
his photograph isn't particularly well known, and it's very ordinary in many respects, but it defined my interests as an artist. I made it when I was 25, between my first and second years at graduate school at Yale, when I was starting to try to find a language of photography that would create a sense of mystery in everyday life.
The picture was made in a house near a baseball field in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The stadium wasn't particularly important in terms of the meaning of the picture, I was just drawn to that location because I loved the way the light illuminated the nocturnal setting.
I would wander around the area taking pictures at night, and I found this house and knocked on the door. A middle-aged woman answered, and it turned out she lived there alone. I asked her if I could photograph around her house, and she agreed. The woman was an alcoholic, and I had complete licence to wander round her house at night while she drank herself to sleep. Usually by the end of the night she'd be passed out on the couch and I'd be on the roof watching the baseball game. It was very sad.
The picture was done on a very modest scale, with none of the large production values I have now. It was taken with a 6x7cm medium format camera. The lighting is a combination of the light from the baseball field and my own lights, set up in the interior of the house to give a blueish cast. I brought the curtains with me, so that was an embellishment on my part. It makes it that bit more theatrical and that bit more domestic.
When I was making the picture I felt very alive, very directed. I had a longing for that place, so I went back a couple of years ago and the house had been torn down. It makes this image even more of a figment of my imagination.