Jill Greenberg was born in July of 1967 in Montreal, Canada, 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.
For the series “Monkey Portraits”, Greenberg has created a series of monkey portraits 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 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.
An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men. Charles Darwin