Jill Greenberg (born July 1967) is an American photographer and artist. She is known for her portraits and fine art work. In these photo series, the artist gives a plastic satin finish to subjects typically given naturalistic characterizations. Instead of the subject becoming more distant through this manner of representation, they are ultra-emotional and too close for comfort. In “End Times”, Greenberg gathered dozens of different children and had them pose in extremely distressing moments. These digitally enhanced images show the toddlers crying and wailing, many teary-eyed or screaming, or in many cases, both.
In “End Times”, she wanted to show her disdain for then President G. Bush and his administration. Greenberg felt that the powerfully dramatic tantrums that toddlers make would be the perfect medium for her message. She even titled her images in the spirit of her intent, with names such as “Shock” and “Grand Old Party” and “Four More Years”, as if to show how these kids would react to these names.
In order to get these kids into to show the strong emotions in the images, Greenberg enticed them by showing them their toys or offering candy, and then taking these treats away. This “baiting” method obviously worked as these images show the rawest possible emotions capable of a child. On one hand, Greenberg managed to bring out the real and primal feelings of children, but on the other hand, her methods have been questioned as to whether or not they’re ethical.
That’s why the Greenberg’s End Times was the subject of controversy in 2006. It’s bad enough to have to make one child cry, but to have to make a whole group of toddlers break down in tears might be comparable to child abuse or torture. Still, while the pain and suffering of these children were only momentary, the remarkable images, and more importantly the message behind them are preserved for posterity.