“People always ask what filter I use, but the filter is me,” says Jill Greenberg. That filter has resulted in some of the most instantly recognisable images of the last two decades.
Jill Greenberg was born in Montreal, but raised in Detroit and has taken photographs for as long as she can remember.
“I started making photographs as a “shortcut” to drawings and paintings,” replies Jill when asked why she decided to become a photographer. “My work has always been concerned with the image itself, the surface. Of course the meaning and concept too, but never really in a documentary way. All of my drawings are from my head — funny, mannered characters with lots of color. Not from life, so my photographs are from my head too… if that makes any sense.”
When attending high school, Jill always thought she wanted to become a fashion illustrator, and later even a fashion photographer.
“I went to school with the intention of majoring in illustration and I even spent the previous summer at RISD in their Illustration summer session. Then the summer before RISD I attended Parson in Paris for Photography on a scholarship. I somehow did not feel like I could break into fashion but it has always been my interest. But I do bring that interest to surface, if you will, with my portraiture and advertising assignments.”