Here's an article on Jill from a German newspaper. She also appeared on RTL's version of Inside Edition--i'm hoping to upload a video of this soon.
aus der Süddeutsche Zeitung Nr.172 Seite 15
from Süddeutsche Zeitung No.172 page 15
the Süddeutsche is one of Germany's biggest daily newspapers with an average print run of 440.000 issues per day.
rough translation of the article:
If one steals lollipops from kids: the controversial photos of Jill Greenberg
To give the little ones some candy and take it away right away, that usually does it. Sometimes even that wasn't needed, says photographer Jill Greenberg who made children between the age of two to three cry for her photo series »End Times«. Often the fact that the kids had to stand on a pedestal in the bright studio light without a t-shirt, surrounded by strangers, was enough to make them cry like crazy. And a minute later everything was fine again.
All tears are real only the dramatic lights and the shiny skin of her models were enhanced on the computer by the photographer. The pictures from the series »End Times« were on exhibition in the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles until July; they will be seen in New York in 2007. But they seem to show more than the moment of aggravation over a withdrawn lollipop. The frustration seems to transform into theatric exasperation, despair and anger through the aesthetic exaggeration. That's what the artist wants to toy with. She gives her series an explicit political meaning opposing the Bush administration and names her portraits »Four more years«, »Intelligent design« or »Misinformation«. The pictures remind Greenberg of »the despair and anger i feel myself about the political and social state of affairs«. Others see something more explosive behind the rage-distorted faces of the kids: abuse.
Is it fair to make children cry just to take pictures of them afterwards? The American Blogger Andrew Peterson started, under his internet alias Thomas Hawk, a discussion in April that still continues: »Jill Greenberg is a Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse«, writes Peterson. Other Bloggers joined him. What followed was strong scolding, Hitler comparisons, threats, pornographic accusations. Greenberg and her husband threatened with legal measures agains libel and exposed the identities of their worst critics. »As a mother, I am quite aware of how easily toddlers can cry.« writes Greenberg in a press release. »A joyful smile can dissolve into a grimace of despair.« Supposedly none of the kids was hurt. Many of the young models are children of friends of the photographer, one of the pictured girls is her own daughter.
American Photo Magazine calls the exhibition the most controversial photo exhibition of the year. Never did they receive so much feedback, the editor in chief told the L.A.Times. The discussion forums on the website of American Photo Magazine had to be closed. Also the sudden attention benefitted Greenberg. Just the page views of the gallery website, where all the pictures can still be seen, increased by 270% - on some days the site has 14000 visitors. Meanwhile a department store has inquired about the rights to the series - to use the pictures for advertising.