Jill Greenberg is a Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse

Update: Got a thank you note in the form of part of a comment from Paul Kopeikin the gallery owner where Jill’s work is being shown right now.

Update #2. I think Jeremiah McNichols has written the most well articulated piece on the Greenberg controversy that I’ve seen published yet.

There is a thread over at the Flickr group Utata today about artist Jill Greenberg’s latest show at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery called End Times. And it’s sickening.

The ethics of photography are by no means simple — shooting strangers, permissions, capturing pain and suffering, many different subjects require that photographers think through their ethics before coming up with the best way to make and display their work. There are a lot of gray areas and a lot of different opinions on many different areas of what should be captured and what should not be captured. I generally fall into the camp of just about anything ought to be ethical for capture assuming it’s natural and the photographer is working as a witness, bystander, artist, photojournalist, citizen journalist, etc.

But what Jill Greenberg is doing makes me want to throw up. And it shouldn’t be allowed. I’m torn about even posting this post because she is obviously using her art as an excuse to do something horrible and is looking for publicity and response and that’s exactly what I’m giving her here. But I’m hoping that through others being made aware of what she is doing that somehow pressure might be borne to stop it from happening.

So what is Jill Greenberg doing? She is taking babies, toddlers under three years old, stripping them of their clothes and then provoking them to various states of emotional distress, anger, rage etc. — so that she can then take photos of them this way to “illustrate her personal beliefs.” If you’d like to see how worked up she can get these kids you can click through here. Be warned that it is graphic. Although the children are not sexualized, I consider what she is doing child pornography of the worst kind.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to a photographer capturing all emotions of humans. I think that capturing the tears of a child that naturally take place all the time (believe me, as a father of four I know) is one thing. But for her to say that she “manipulates her subjects to evoke an emotion,” and then citing things like giving them a lollipop and then taking it away from them just to see them cry and get angry and then shoot them, this is just wrong.

Irrespective of her statement as an artist this is evil. And it is evil to collect these images of children who through the bad judgment of their parents ultimately have no say.

When the Michael Jackson trial was going on people kept saying, what kind of parents would let their child spend the night alone in a room with Michael Jackson. It seemed absurd. And it seems absurd that any parent who loved their child would purposely take their children to Greenberg’s studio to then be tormented to the point of emotional outrage.

We should all be outraged by this horrible woman who has sought to somehow justify her actions under some kind of artistic immunity. This is not art, this is child abuse. It is the purposeful action of creating anger in a beautiful child for the sadistic purpose of making a name for herself as a pop artist.

I’m not sure what can be done about Greenberg. I’m not sure if the law would in fact define child abuse as purposefully inflicting emotional pain on a child but something should be done and this is not something that we as an enlightened society should tolerate.

I’m willing to generally give artists a great deal of latitude. But this is sick. As a parent I’m outraged and as a human being this is wrong. This little boy breaks my heart. I’m not sure how to stop this but it needs to be stopped.

Update: Jill Greenberg’s husband, Robert Greenberg responds: i’m married to the artist in question. with that said, some facts: jill did not “abuse” the children, nor abuse them. they were given lollipops, and then those were removed from the kids. jill didn’t speak to them–the parents were there monitoring the whole time. this is the EXACT technique used in ads and movies and TV. i’m a producer in two of those mediums and have been through this before, so i know whereof i speak.

some of these kids are our daughter’s friends, some of them are in fact…duh duh duh…our own daughter. they still come over for playdates. they don’t seem any worse for wear.

the pictures have spoken to you, evoked pain and anguish–that, i must say, was jill’s intention. i’m not in agreement with your argument as much as its foundation is on the facts–you obviously didn’t know them.

that said, an opinion is an opinion. i just think, in this age of snap judgements and instant analysis, that we should all do our part to do as much research as possible before making very harsh accusations. jill ‘s methods are described by her on her gallerists website–you even link to it!

anyway, my two cents, but i’m (very) biased.

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  1. Bernd says:

    Last week I’ve seen a family in a german leisure park. There was a huge slide and mom wanted to slide with her daughter. The girl had to slide, no escape. She trembled, cried and was short-winded…but she had to slide because dad wanted the shot. Absolutely.

    Maybe the father intended to harden his daughter. Maybe he’s just a ignoramus who ignores what his daughter needs. I don’t know.
    But when we judge Mrs. Greenberg we should not judge the mother but the famous photographer and artist who tried to make 35 human beings unhappy, intentionally. That’s sick. We have to protest against her behaviour because it is wrong.
    She has shot many crying kids to “feel something”. It’s her personal problem. She was not in a good mood? You ever heard about “twinges of remorse”, Mrs. Greenberg?

  2. I had not read the commentary before I viewed the photos of the children. Clicking through the gallery brought me to tears, and not in a way that I shall look back on as enlightening or worthy. Sure she ‘might’ have just taken away their lollipops and snapped some pictures. But, those children and nude and obviously EXTREMELY distressed. Words escape me but anyone that doubts that this is uncalled for needs to look up the definitions of abuse and abuser, power and control in abusive relationships and the effects of trauma on a person (be it a small child or an adult). It boggles my mind that so many people think it is ok to subject a baby or a child to things that they wouldn’t dare do to an adult and in fact would deem as being ‘wrong’ if it had happened to an adult.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How on earth is this classed as ABUSE, the child is not being physically or mentally abused. Taking a lolly pop away from a child, would leave them crying long enough to take a few shots and the lolly pop to be handed back. Then the child would have moved on and by the next day most likely forgotten about the whole thing. This woman has not physically/emotionally hurt them or left an impact in the mind! I am also sure, if the child got too distressed or hysterical she would then stop and give the child their lolly back.
    Children will grow up in life and have many things taken away from them, it is a part of life. Shouldn’t we all at some stage be expressed in every way, shape or form????? I would also like to add that I am quite sure (seeing this wonman is also a profressional) that she would do the profresional thing and explain to the childrens guardians her aim of what she is after in these photo’s. Jill does this for a living and being a mother herself would never purposely harm a child. I am not a photographer, but would very much love to be and I also a mother have taken photos of my children in many expressions and emotions. I have also taken photo’s of there injuries too, so when they are older and say oh how did I do this mum I can say well…., does that make me a bad mother? CERTAINLY NOT. I would die for my children and do and will FOREVER put them first, but I also like to capture EVERYTHING in their life, the good, the bad and the ugly, the fun times, the sad times ,I want to capture it ALL! I do not want to miss a thing and nor do I want them to. I want them to look back on their lives when they are older and know all the bits about them growing up and what type of children they were etc.
    So let me ask all of you out there, dogging/dissing/bitching about this woman and what she does for a living, before you want to post negative comment…. Do you who are leaving comments have children and secondly have you, yourself never taken something off your own child, wether it be because they are not allowed to have it, or they have had enough, or if it be that they have been misbehaving? If no then you are surely not human? and did they cry… I am sure we are all guilty of one of the above so therefore how is this any different?

    Mel –

    KEEP UP THE GREAT PHOTO’S JILL (more people should be looking at the rest of your work and admiring what you actually do, instead of being too narrow minded, with nothing better to do and forgetting we all have faults and a difference of opinion!)

  4. Simon from Australia says:

    I read about three paragraphs of your blog, clicked on the link to those photos and spent the next 15 minutes crying or trying to fight back tears.
    This woman is an abomination and the parents of these children should be castrated on the spot and spend the rest of their lives seeking professional help because they obviously don’t know what love is!
    Please excuse me I was a bit emotional about the images, not for what they were but how they must have came about.
    I’ve calmed down a bit now while I read quite a few replies.
    Here is one for the parents out there to think about.
    If you are an artist, child psychologist or don’t have your own children then don’t even think about voicing an opinion about this, this is not opinion, this is my life!
    My boy is only 2 years old and I have seen him look something like those photos on several occasions.
    There are 3 things that will make him react that way.
    1. He hurts himself, in this case it is an instantaneous explosion of anguish and he runs to me or his mum for comfort.
    2. He is being bullied by another child, in this case he starts crying a little bit but the anguish only comes into his face when he looks at his mum or at me.
    3. He is being denied something by us (obviously for his own good), in this case his little face pleads from one to the other of us, hoping for someone to give in.
    In other words he looks to the place he hopes he will find comfort.
    What intrigues, no upsets me about these photos is that a few of the children seem not to be looking at or for their parents, but at the camera, or the person holding it.
    I ask you as a parent, if you can condone or accept your child in a time of need turning to the person, or thing, that is the source of their torment for relief?
    This woman must be a very talented photographer indeed to extract these emotional images before the children could run to their parents (as my child and many others certainly would have, I will gaurantee you)
    It begs the question though, how did she get these children to stand still long enough to get these pictures?
    Are they authentic or are they digital creations?(I would rather think it was the latter!)
    I can tell you right now, I would rip the face off the person who got my child in the state of distress these children seem to be in for their own self gratification.
    And make no mistake here people, these photos are not for the benefit of the children or for the American people.(Even if you think that the art represents some sort of bullshit political agenda, I don’t see how rich people hanging this depressing shit on their walls helps a cause, other than lining an artists pockets bacause she was astute enough to pull at emotional heartstrings.)
    Even if you really believed the reason (not the inspiration) for these photos was to protest against Bush’s war in Iraq, surely a better way to get your point across would be to distribute them en masse rather than charge exhorbitant prices for them and show them in a some pissfart gallery.
    Every reason for doing what she has done makes no sense whatsoever other than monetary.
    I would like to know by the way what the photos of the relaxed monkeys on the gallery website are meant to represent, or are they just photos of relaxed monkeys that aren’t selling very well and a link from the tormented children just might sell a few.
    I cannot begin to imagine the thought process of the people who claim to have been at the shoot and stood by and let their children be worked up like that.
    All I can hope for these children is they only remember a very mean woman as a vague memory. Unfortunately, as is stated, the parents were in the room at the time in some cases. This means these children would be watching their parents do nothing, while this woman tormented them.
    So young to be losing trust in the ones you love most.
    P.S. I signed it Simon from Australia so you would know I don’t have a political stance on this issue.

  5. W. Houston says:

    I believe that children are our future
    Teach them well and let them lead the way
    Show them all the beauty they possess inside
    Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
    Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

  6. Anonymous says:

    Simon, the kids were standing on a wobbling box. They had no chance to escape or to defend themselves.
    Mrs. Greenberg said that her assistant who has no children took the candy away from the children. The mothers were sent off the room because Mrs. Greenberg wanted pictures of horrified children.
    Jill Greenberg has always loved images of crying children. They make you “feel something”. Well, that’s her personal problem and the problem of her shrink. I think that I’m an average parent and that’s why I’ve always helped my crying kids instead of taking pictures of them. Taking a picture of my crying kid would be an extra degradation. But I’m not a photographer or an artist, I’m not “image saturated” and bored, so I don’t have to torture my kids to “feel something” special like sadistic malicious glee. If you like to misinterpret her sadism, go on waffling about art.
    She’s a naive, silly paparazza which has too much money for doing silly, obscene things.
    There is no sense or sensibility within her work.
    Nothing that reminds me of a human being who loves children.

  7. Toni Foster says:

    Once again, we see that dogs have more rights than children. I wonder if those children enjoyed ‘posing’ for Jill Greenberg. I am sure they were given no choice at being tormented and manipulated, used as a tool for a self-gratifying megalomaniac. Once again, we see the exploitation of children being taken to new lows. Apparently, Ms. Greenberg is making a lot of money from her abuse of these innocent little ones… stripped naked, teased and tormented, and lacking the emotional experience to even understand why they were being thus mistreated. And now, Ms. Greenberg can become rich and famous at their expense… their exploitation.

    Or more appropriately… infamous. As her fame is come only due to the shocking nature of her ‘work.’ How any human being can take pictures while little children are in such obvious distress is just unimaginable. Mind you, she is not infamous because of any talent. But rather, because of the shocking reality of how far she is willing to go to receive attention. What a sad little woman she must be. And clearly a psychopath, without conscience.

    Jill Greenberg is nothing more than a child pornographer. Rather than showing these naked children in sexual situations, she shows them in states of pain and hysteria. Either way, the only sort of people who would want to buy such horrid and shocking images are people who get satisfaction from seeing children suffer.

    Jill Greenberg makes me so ashamed of my species. As do you (Paul), for pimping her vile works, which are nothing more than the “Howard Stern” of photography. I do hope that she finishes up in jail. I find myself unable to sleep tonight, because I know that Jill Greenberg is free to continue to torture and abuse little children who do not have the right to say, “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS! I DO NOT WANT TO BE USED LIKE THIS JUST SO THAT YOU CAN MAKE MONEY AND GET INFAMOUS FROM MY SUFFERING!”

    An adult would have the RIGHT to REFUSE to be thus used! But not children. Because they have no rights. They are merely playthings for adult amusement, as Jill Greenberg has so heinously displayed. What next, Jill? Maybe drop off a two-year-old in an abandoned warehouse, hide for a few hours, and then photograph the ‘lost’ child screaming hysterically? And then Paul can shriek about what a hero you are, because you had the ‘guts’ to terrorise a child and photograph it. Although I think ‘gutless’ would be a more appropriate term. You are nothing but a gutless coward.

  8. franzy says:

    I’ve got a comment:

    Hands up who’s got kids?
    Hands up who’s ever told them off and made them cry? (come on, hands up)
    Child abusers! The lot of you!

    You were telling them off for your own benefit. How DARE you upset and emotionally torture this perfect child for the sake of a little peace and quiet? For the sake of feeling like you’re a good parent. You selfish beasts.

    Too general?
    Those with children: ever been shopping? Ever had to prise a lollipop out of your little darling’s hands? Did they enjoy that? Or whinge about it?
    Did other people see you do it?
    You child pornographer!

    This is seriously the funniest wowser arguement I’ve heard in a LONG time. Made my Saturday.

  9. Oh yeah, couldn’t find the text to post, but the interview I just read in The Australian Magazine had the story of one the little girls attending the gallery launch. She goes up to Jill and says “You took my lollipop!” and then Jill says “Yes! And then what happened?”. “I got it back!”
    All smiles. The kid had fun.

    I’m pretty worried about all these people who kept pointing the ‘child porn’ finger at these photos. Reminds me of the celebate minister finding dirt and filth and sexual depravity and in everything from carrots to clouds.

    Oh, and contrary to ‘Simon From Australia’s assertion, people from Australia DO have political stances. We all have to vote. I don’t know what he was talking about there. We’re not all like Steve Irwin.

  10. Darshni says:

    Just like Franzy, i read the interview in the Australian, OH come of it! your arguement is flawed in my opinion…You should be fortunate these children weren’t actually crying for a real cause…I have a feeling you’ve probably caused more “abuse” to your own child than what an artist taking a lollipop away from her child.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I was not on these shoots. But I have been on shoots with children of this age and I have been on shoots where the purpose was to get the child to show different types of emotion, including crying. I can tell you from experience on these shoots that:

    1.) Parents are always present or at least nearby. It is very rare that a parent is not around and if they aren’t its because they parents have been involved in the modeling field so long that they need not be present to see their child work.

    2.) The process is very simple, give the child something he wants very badly and then take it away. It can be anything from candy to a toy to their parent. Shoot the picture for as many frames as you can, ignore the child’s incessent whining and he continues. Once its over, give him back what he wants and then they crying stops. The process is not unlike anything he has ever experienced. Is it mean? Absolutely. Is it wrong? Only if the parent feels it is. They know about it ahead of time and have to agree to it beforehand. No one is abusing the child

    3.) Jill Greenberg is a successful photographer who isn’t going to do anything to jeopardize her career. Neither are parents, art directors or any rational person on set. It is highly unlikely that she was doing these portraits all by herself with no one else around. You can tell that she has a lot of light in these images – at least three large lights lighting the subject and probably two lights behind. They didn’t put themselves up. There were people around. Probably at least 4 people. I am sure one of them would have stopped this project if they felt something was inappropriate.

    4.) There are many mean people out there who do far worse. Annie Liebowitz abuses people. She throws cameras at assistants. No one is bitching about that.

  12. franzy says:

    Good point, and no one calls Annie Liebowitz’s photos child porn. I mean, those kids are nekkid too.

  13. Toni Foster says:

    Darshni, why should be be fortunate those children weren’t crying for a real reason? I am not sure what you are insinuating here. Not to mention, those children WERE crying for a real reason. They are toddlers, and their reasons… though clearly not considered real by you… were real to them. They do not have to validate or explain their reasons to you or anyone else. Judging from your comment, you do not consider the feelings and concerns of children to matter. Because they are not important?

    There is a big difference between my child getting upset over not being given what he/she wants, and someone deliberately teasing and tormenting my child into hysteria just so she can take pictures of the distressed child and make money off of it. The difference is the deliberate manipulation. I have never deliberately tried to upset my child, I have never taken delight in seeing my child upset, and I have always taken steps to comfort my child when said child has been distressed. Parenting and childrearing have nothing to do with this issue. This issue is about a woman deliberately teasing and tormenting children for her own self-gratification and personal gain. The difference is the exploitation… taking a type of delight in seeing the child distressed, and profiting from it. The total lack of compassion in favour of greed is appalling as it is selfish.

    I find it interesting that, in almost all the arguments I have heard in support of Jill Greenberg’s ‘art,’ not one piece of constructive ‘evidence’ is usually given… not one intelligent argument presented… to explain WHY this is art. Rather, most of Jill Greenberg’s supporters just come in and insult those of us who are protesting her methods. My favourite is the insinuation that if people see Jill Greenberg’s photos of these children as pornographic, it is because the viewer is a paedophile. That is such a cheap copout, as are the rest of the typical “I have no tangible defence for this ‘art,’ so I will just insult the people who disagree with me because I am too weak to come up with any constructive argument.” It only seeks to add weight to the arguments against Greenberg’s ‘art.’ As clearly, the defence has nothing valid to present to argue their stance.

    A photo of a naked child is hardly pornography on its own. But these photos reek of trauma and torment, presented in the form of a naked, completely vulnerable hysterical toddler. They are not sexual in content, but are as bad. It is someone enjoying seeing and photographing a hysterical naked child. It reeks of violence. So it is a variation of pornography. Children should NOT be treated like this! And if this is how the film and advertising industry ‘do it’ then ‘it’ should be changed and not allowed. It is wrong to deliberately pick on a child when they have no choice in whether or not they want to participate.

    Anonymous 8:47pm, your post is one of the FEW I have read that actually offers some sort of intelligent insight into the reasoning as to why you support Greenberg. I applaud you for not reducing yourself to insulting those who disagree with you… that shows integrity and gives you credibility. Therefore, I am listening, and holding your post in regard as to one that actually has something worth reading. I actually found some comfort in your post. There is one thing in your post that bothers me:

    Is it mean? Absolutely. Is it wrong? Only if the parent feels it is. They know about it ahead of time and have to agree to it beforehand. No one is abusing the child

    I do not agree that, whether or not a parent feels something is abuse is how abuse is defined. Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of what a parent feels. I know a woman who held her son’s hand over a red-hot electric stove burner. She felt it was not wrong to do this. I have heard of people who have drowned their own children. They did not feel it was wrong. But it was. It was abuse, and in the latter, murder. My point here is, just because a parent feels something is right, does not make it right.

    These parents are making money off their children, the same as Greenberg. They obviously care more about the money and the potential fame than they do their children. And, having worked on so many shoots, I am sure you have come in contact with many a ‘stage’ parent whose ego is bigger than concern for their children. I do not believe that any parent who loves their child more than they love the potential for fame and money would allow their child to be treated like this by anyone!

    The law establishes what is right and what is wrong. It is not perfect, but it is all any civiliazation has to maintain some form of protection for its citizens. According to California law, Jill Greenberg is guilty of child abuse. What I want to know is, why has she not been arrested and charged? As, if a teacher did this to a child, he/she would be arrested and charged, and would lose their job. So why are there two sets of rules? You don’t have to answer that, I already know the answer.

    The thing that concerns me most in this saga is, what next? It is human nature to want to ‘take things to the next level.’ So, if this is allowed, it will establish a new precident for what is acceptable to do to children in order for adults to satisfy their own selfish agendas. So what’s next? Where will the line be drawn?

  14. Anonymous says:


    This is anon 8:47 again. Thanks for your comments. In response, I don’t feel that parent’s decide what is right or wrong on all levels of raising a child. I am speaking in this instance with what they did to get these shots. It is highly unlikely that they did anything other than taking something away from the child to get them to cry. It’s a far cry from abuse because we all know as parents or as former kids that this action in no way hurts the child. Not getting what you want is a part of life. We all live with it and none of it really screws us up in life.

    It’s also important to look at the issue from the photographer’s point of view. She had an idea and concept that speaks on many levels both artistically and poliically, regardless of whether you feel it is effective either way and for someone to come along and say that she is sick and should be locked up is to denigrate art and creativity in general. Its suppressive to freedom of speech – a right that we are all exercising right now.

    I’ll speak intelligently about this subject because I respect yours and everyone elses freedom of speech and expression. But I will strongly disagree with your view on this subject.

    Had Greenberg hit, yelled or scared these children into crying, I’d have to disagree with her method. But it is apparent at this point that all actions were done humanely and with great concern for the child’s well-being. Until I hear otherwise, I stand by my statements.

    I can understand why other’s feel differently. To see a child crying invokes many emotions, presumably sadness, empathy, sorrow. It catches people off guard. Perhaps this was the idea behind the portraits. Perhaps the anger that is expressed on this page is exactly what the artist intended. Perhaps she wanted to see the outrage directed towards the underlying meaning in her work.

    I am not too thrilled about Greenbergs political overtones in this work. I think its a bit pretentious at times. But then again, I look at an image like “Left Behind” and get exactly what she is saying.

    Finally, in response to your idea about “So What’s Next?”, I think your overreaching. This is a common practice and tool used to defend someones disagreement with a subject. The religious right use it to defend anti-gay issues – “What’s next, people will marry their animals?” Legalizing Marijuana? What’s next, Crack? It’s taking an issue and blowing it out to absurdity. No one is going to defend abusive images of children.

    The line is drawn by decent honest people doing their jobs as human beings. If a child was being hurt in these images someone would have put their foot down and stopped it before these images could even see the light of day. There were lots of people involved in the process and it made it’s way into the mainstream. Real pornography stays out of the mainstream, tucked away in dark corners of the world where bad people lurk…or somewhere on the internet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Come on America! Do you know what an emotionally, physically, or sexually abused child looks like? Well I would like to invite you to reach out to a child in your community that really needs your help. These parents are paying $5000 to $8000 to capture the tantrums and meltdowns toddlers face around the clock. Go volunteer somewhere and get your own business. You all are lining the pockets of the photographer by being active in spreading the word. I would have not known anything about this until you all earned Jill a spot on TV. Good Job! Now lets work on World Peace!

  16. Paul G. says:

    You obviously don’t get out much.
    I’ve seen all these faces and more in the grocery store when Mommy didn’t let the little kids touch and hold everything in a asile.

    Now if she had pricked them, slapped them or otherwise injured them, I’d be in full agreement with your false outrage.

    But that’s not the story here, the story here is a photographer doing what photographers do everyday – solicit an emotion from a subject.

    Shame on you for equating it to porn and abuse.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This artist would say that the means justifies the ends. That is, some good will come out of tormenting these children who are not free to choose otherwise. They are powerless. It is our moral and ethical obligation to defend the powerless. Is the artist saying that is okay to deny this obligation to protect, in order to promote the idea that other powerless individuals and groups are being abused also ? It does not make sense. It is hypocritical and one has to then question the real intentions of the artist.

  18. Simply_Frank says:

    What’s the matter here?

    Children are not ours to do with as we see fit. children our a great duty a great opportunity to instill hope and dignity into the future through the virtues we pass on to them. What is sad is that people drowning in the sudo nuvo modern art scene trying to make a name loose touch with basic human values and defile others with in thier search for identity. All I can say to Jill is fame and money won’t buy you the simple comfort of living compassionatly.

    Next she will be cutting the children up and placing them in lexan boxes to display in the brooklyn Museum.

    said really

  19. Simply_Frank says:

    I am tired of the excuses everybody uses there your kids do as you see fit.

  20. Sven says:

    Much to my delight there are many sensible people in the USA which like children. But there are many idiots too which are too stupid to discuss about the dignity of a child. People which voted for alcoholics or for austrian musclemen.
    Sven, Germany

  21. Anonymous says:

    many posters have used the word “torment” which was also used by thomas in his original post. It seems to me that the word is being misused here. It means far worse than what was actually done. It’s like using murder to describe assualt.

    -anon 8:47

  22. Anonymous says:


    The funny thing is, I would venture to say that the majority of people complaining about these “abusive” photo’s are the ones who voted for the alcholics and austrian muscleman.

  23. Sven says:

    The funny thing is that our most important channel “RTL”, a network, has interviewed Jill and televised a report with the comment “she should going on shooting apes” (2 million viewers), they just televised disapproval of the pictures – a german newspaper (400,000 circulation) quoted the accepted photographer Thomas Ruff and the german union for child protection which condemned the work of Jill Greenberg. It’s a matter of conscience if you support Jill or Thomas. Many newspapers or channels in the USA have “manipulated” the facts. They are just interested in a thrilling story: mad photographer or mad bloggers. We don’t know anything.
    We just have to choose if we reject her explanations or if we accept that young children are without rights. “No animal was harmed in this movie”, but you are allowed to frighten a child if the parents admit (and take the money).
    It’s normal? Folks, you’re not normal people. I’m reading “The secret of happy children” by Steve Biddulph, an australian psychologist. I’m sure that Jill has never read a book about upbringing.
    I don’t want to talk to a bullfighter about animal welfare. So I don’t want to talk to Jill about upbreeding. It’s useless.

    Sven, Germany

  24. Anonymous says:

    truthfully i consider her work art. SHe is truthfully capturing the essence of what children do. They cry. It is not pornography. It is capturing an emotion that for kids happen all the time. Would you consider it abuse if you saw a parent telling a kid at a toy store that he couldn’t get a toy and the child throwing a monstrous hissy fit. no. of course not, it is just part of life. or how about the parents who let their kid play with the toy while they are in the store and then at the last minute tell them they can’t get the toy. It is the same exact thing . it is not child abuse. The only difference is she took pictures of the children in their fit. SHe did not pinch them slap them, tell them their pet died, which would be considered cruel, she took candy away from a child. She probably gave it back to the kids. Comparing this to the Michael Jackson situation is absolutely absurd. I wish there were more educated people who could understand the value of art and not just think of art as a painting of pretty flowers and smiling babies with kittens.

  25. franzy says:

    I agree.
    Art = effect.
    That’s it.
    You’re supposed to argue about it and hate it. Its success isn’t measured by money, but by impact.
    Anyone who has a problem with it, has succumbed already.
    You want to shut Greenberg down? You think she’s sick and wrong and evil?
    Too late. She wins. The art worked already.
    You’re playing her game and she’s loving it, I guarantee.
    To stop her, just ignore her art. Look at it and feel nothing. Walk away and forget it.
    But you can’t, can you? You’re thinking and feeling and emoting.
    That’s how art works. You’re not going to stop it by helping it.
    But hey, by all means, keep complaining!

  26. franzy says:

    I agree.
    Art = effect.
    That’s it.
    You’re supposed to argue about it and hate it. Its success isn’t measured by money, but by impact.
    Anyone who has a problem with it, has succumbed already.
    You want to shut Greenberg down? You think she’s sick and wrong and evil?
    Too late. She wins. The art worked already.
    You’re playing her game and she’s loving it, I guarantee.
    To stop her, just ignore her art. Look at it and feel nothing. Walk away and forget it.
    But you can’t, can you? You’re thinking and feeling and emoting.
    That’s how art works. You’re not going to stop it by helping it.
    But hey, by all means, keep complaining!

  27. anonymous says:

    It was a few weeks ago today that the news aired on Jill Greenbergs photography here in Australia. I was watching with the volume down and turned it up to hear what the broadcasters had to say about these brilliant photographs. I was utterly shocked to hear that there was little support for this womans brilliant originality.

    Firstly, let me address what everyone is claiming to be “abuse” to these children. Do people not watch around the world “funniest Home video shows”? If a child crying in a photograph for a mere 20 seconds per shoot is abuse, then why do people laugh at children hurting themselves on trampolines,pools, parks etc in these videos on T.V? To me that is more abusive then taking a quick shot of a child crying.

    Secondly, did you notice that one of the girls had her ears pierced? That is abuse in itself…She probably didn’t want to get her ears pierced, yet her mummy decides to – because she wants her daughter to look beautiful. That’s abuse. Not a child losing a lollipop for a split second.

    Finally, the fact that people were pathetic enough to even relate these images to the likes of child pornography is something I find hard to fathom. You only see the childs face, and the emotions brought out on them clearly don’t evoke that they are trying to seduce their audience (like pornography attempts to do). So why even suggest pornography in relation to this project?

    Someone mentioned that these children have shown deep emotions of distress…Didn’t you know that Jill Greenberg had enhanced these photographs digitally on a computer? She made the lines, tears and facial tones all deeper and more alive to display her message. If you weren’t at the photo shoot then clearly you cannot state how these children really looked. It’s a bit like celebrities on magazines, we all know that they are average looking off the covers, so take into account that these children being photgraphed also fall under the same category.

    I think the world is losing its mind with the new aged (politically-correct) justification of doing certain things. The parents involved in this whole ordeal didn’t have a problem with their children being photographed, so why should you? It all comes back to people thinking they can judge one anothers parenting because they create there own definition of the “right way” of doing it. In future when things don’t affect YOU as a person, then I suggest it is best to get on with raising your children the way you think is correct and let others get on with the way they make a living. Stop creating a FUSS over something so minor, and if you want to go protest – cry out about the wars that occur as we speak and the global warming crisis. They are the real things that MATTER, as in 10 years time no one is to say where this world will be.

  28. Aaron Hamlett says:

    I cannot believe the comments from some of these people. John Hancock, I’m Geo. Washington by the way, have you ever even been arounf a small child? Young children are extremely emotional, the loss of a piece of candy is like the end of the world.

    A friend’s child will scream and cry for an hour, then stop and and start laughing, all with no one doing a thing to her.

    You cannot judge the extent of harm or pain by the size of the tears or expression on the face of a child.

    Quite a few years ago, a nephew fell and put a minor scrape on his knee and proceeded to cry, blubber, and leak fluids from eyes, nose and mouth. His dad whipped out a sucker, the boy stopped crying instantly. The pain wasn’t gone, but the emotion had changed.

    Get to know some real children before putting so much anger into the world over something so minor.

    Child Porn? Child abuse? The people saying things like that wouldn’t know a real child if they saw.

  29. Sven says:

    I have a link for you

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/cries-of-foul-play-for-photographer/2006/07/11/1152383740199.html (Sydney Morning Herald)

    You noticed that one of the girls had her ear pierced, and you claim it to be “abuse”. I’m a father of two toddlers and I have to agree. In my opinion it’s bodily harm.
    That’s the reason why my children will not have their ear pierced until THEY ask for it! (Did you noticed the scraper on her finger?)
    You said “She probably didn’t want to get her ears pierced, yet her mummy decides to”. Listen to the podcast interview with Jill, American photo, March 2006:
    “… they DON’T REALLY LIKE being photographed… that’s not their natural habitat to be in a photo studio without their shirt on and sometimes that makes them cry…”
    It was the first try to make them cry. The first boy she shot, Liam, cried because “we took off his shirt because it was dirty”. The boy DID NOT WANT to be in her photo studio without his shirt on!
    Jill thought that it should be easy
    to make many children cry. Her own daughter cried because she DID NOT WANT to stand on a wobbling apple box without her shirt on. You know what? That will do me too!
    The second try: “…and sometimes we gave them some candy like a lollipop, and than we take it away which is an interesting job for my photo assistants…most of which don’t have any children”
    You think she was taking quick shots? that the children were “losing a lollipop for a split second?” “…the shoots last ten minutes, maybe fifteen minutes…I don’t want to upset the children too much”
    The third try: “…sometimes we’ll have their moms step out of the studio for a couple of minutes and then come right back… sometimes they won’t cry at all…and that’s sort of frustrating because we’ve found some gorgeous children who sort of look at me like,yeah, you can take away my lollipop that’s not going to make me cry, I’m too professional, most of them are in fact child models”
    For a child model it’s not normal to cry, it’s normal to smile, because that is what normal photographers expect! I have respect to those 2-years-old child models, they’re really tough!

    “Funniest Home video shows” are watched all around the world.
    Gloating is a normal human behaviour. But if you ask somebody “Do you think it’s funny when a child slips and cries” everybody would say “No”, because now it’s a matter of conscience and good manners. A popular german compere has tested it.
    I don’t think that many parents MAKE their kids slip to shoot a video!!!

    I know that Jill had enhanced the photographs digitally on a computer. I’ve enhanced her shots digitally on my computer, too! They work black-and-white, I will send them to some nursery schools and pediatricians. They know more about bringing up children than you do. “You cannot state how these children really looked?” Of course. Probably they were smiling and laughing.


    the children have not lost their candy. Some strangers have snatched it from them, Jill’s photo assistants. You will be angry if somebody would offer you a cup of coffee, a magazine or a cigarette, and then…take it away! Just to make you angry!
    I would never let my child cry for an hour…you know what tears do? They ease the pain…the PAIN! The dad of your nephew whipped out a sucker to console his son…TO CONSOLE HIM! He did not whip out a camera to shoot him!!!
    Did you noticed the exhausted children? It’s really frustrating when you cry out, when you cry for help, and your mother do not help you. She is standing there,
    doing nothing, or she is not in the room, and this strange woman keep on shooting you – ignoring your cries.

    You want to defend her monkey business? I do not give a monkey’s.
    But I agree to her political statements. Yesterday there was a show on german TV. The host was wearing a shirt showing George Bush senior who says “I should have pulled out”. Great! A few years ago our minister of justice (!) had to resign because he compared your president to Hitler.
    Our previous chancellor Schroeder called him an adventurer. I’d call him a bombed bomber, that’s my opinion.

    Sven, Germany

  30. Anonymous says:

    This form of ‘art’ is not art at all and cannot be rationalized. On any grounds this is an assault of the senses that only appeals to pedophiles.

    Even as the artist exploits her own child and child’s friends furthers my belief that this is a form of exploitation of the defenseless. The parents rationalize “oh well, we’re making some coin and the kid’ll get over it.” A healthy BIG F**K YOU!! to these demonic and Sick individuals. (Photographer, weak husband, prostitutional friends that whore out their kids etc.)

    Yes, You… You are the people that I am talking DIRECTLY to.

    Art requires talent and effort. Neither of either is presented in this context. Only the defenseless child’s pain is extracted and captured.

    Can you call Trauma art??

    No. You can’t. Art requires the entire soul, and this is empty as a gum wrapper. This form of shit and filth is shock and short term cash. Real art lasts forever; this … will be gone tomorrow.

    Jill and Whores again,

    F**K YOU!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well for starters thanks captain obvious for stating that funniest home videos aren’t made by parents who force their children to slip. That’s not what the point was. If I could be bothered creating a response to half of what you wrote, I’d waste my time and come back in a few weeks to find yet more shit written by you. It’s interesting to note that you didn’t address the end of what I said. Cry about something that matters in the world sven, not about what someone said on a meaningless blog or did for a one-off job..or better still get a life and make something of yourself that can change the world in a better way. Your opinion isn’t going to take these images away – the show has finished and Greenberg is successfully getting on with more shoots to publish. It seems to me like someone has way too much time on their hands – editing the greenberg photos, researching this like it’s your f***ing PHD thesis and then typing to nobody to make yourself feel better about a situation which never involved you personally to begin with. When they bought that Berlin Wall down, maybe you should have been standing beneath it.

  32. parent123 says:

    I am a parent of a child that was requested to “model” for this and it all sounded innocent enough from her agent….until I looked a little further into what I might be getting my daughter into. I went onto Jill’s website and was apalled by what I saw. I looked again today after hearing about the controversy surrounding it to see if any other parents from the agency that represents my daughter actually participated and there were. I was really surprised. I met one set of parents of a child shown and they seemed like really good, responsible caring parents. I feel like it’s really exploiting those children. They are unclothed from the waist up making them feel vulnerable, given a lollipop, they cry, and are photographed. Not cool in my books. And for what? A couple hundred dollars when the photographer is selling them for thousands and gaining recognition. Regardless of what the monetary compensation was I wasn’t going to put my child through that and wreck the fun we usually have at regular photoshoots for catelogs, etc. I don’t think she would have ever wanted to model again had she done that job.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Podcast Interview with Yokel Goon
    American psycho, March 2006
    Your images have certainly caused an uproar. What do you say to people who call you an anti-woman freak?
    I think they’re insane. I know the comment you’re talking about. I don’t know what the broad’s personal problems are. I don’t think she’s married with children.I have a
    fourty-year-old wife, and she cries for no reason, a hundred times a day. It’s normal. She’s a desperate housewife. Maybe getting women to cry isn’t the nicest thing to do, but I’m not causing anyone permanent psychological damage.

    How many women did you shoot altogether?
    Around 35. Some where the wifes of friends, plus my own wife; others were the mothers of the kids shooted by Jill Greenberg. We paid their husbands…chicken feed…about $400. They were not expensive – not as expensive as monkeys, for example.

    How did you get the women to cry?
    Some of them cried totally on their own…they don’t really like being photographed, because that’s not their natural habitat to be in my studio without their blouses on and sometimes that makes them cry. Some would just cry for no reason – my wife did that; she didn’t like standing on the apple box I used for a platform because it was a little wobbly. For all the women I worked really fast. The shoots last ten minutes, maybe fifteen minutes. I don’t want to upset the women too much, you know, at the end of the day I was not in a good mood. I don’t like making chicks cry.
    Sometimes we gave them some small gifts like a cigarette or a cup of coffee, and then we take it away which was an interesting job for my stooges who are not married. Honestly, being a husband of a bimbo, I know the chicks cry all the time and two minutes later they’re perfectly happy so it’s not like I’m doing any kind of permanent psychic damage by doing the photo shoots…sometimes we’ll have their model husbands step out of my studio for a couple of minutes and then come right back… sometimes they won’t cry at all…and that’s sort of frustrating because we’ve found some gorgeous chicks who sort of look at me like,,,yeah, no matter what you take from me, you can’t take away my dignity. I’m too professional, some of them are in fact models of self-control.

    How did you come up with the idea of the project?
    I saw this producer who’d come to a party and he was beautiful, so I thought it might be interesting to photograph him. When he came to my studio, he brought along his
    wife, Jill Greenberg, and I decided to shoot her too. We took off her blouse because it was dirty and she started crying on her own, and I shot that.
    When I got the contact sheets back I thought, this could go with a caption “Emancipation”. The images have a real power – they immediately get under your skin. The emotion you see is just so compelling, yet they’re beautiful at the same time. That was one of the things that interested me about the project – the strength and beauty of the images as images. I also thought they made a kind of political statement about the current state of anxiety a lot of women are in about the future of tuna sandwiches. I’ve always loved images of crying women. They’re so powerful, they’re so emotional…they still make you feel something and still get you and I sort of like that.
    I try not to take anything too seriously, it’s sort of funny in a way, these chicks are crying and you know the picture is called “women’s liberation”.

  34. Anonymous says:

    These sound like the rants of a frustrated wannabe photographer who’s more than jealous of Greenbergs simple application of expression.
    Get over it…and congratulations on providing her with more hype!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I think that all of you are making a big deal out of nothing.
    There are millions of children around the world who are crying for “real” reasons and nobody seems to care much. Think about hunger and injustice, think wars and orphanages. For me, the artist has reflected the fact that not all children around the world can afford to be happy.
    I agree with Bikr, let it rest and focus your energy in something worthwhile, for example putting an end to the real suffering that children have to go through. I am sure there is plenty to do starting with your own neighbourhood. Go from the theory to the practice and many people will benefit from it.

  36. bnpositive says:

    Not sure if you saw it or not, but Jill Greenberg’s “Manipulator” site was chosen as the #1 site on this week’s Yahoo’s Pick’s Weekly Wire. It really surprises me they’d choose her site.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I found your blog today, by accident. It really bothered me. I have worked with Jill, and she is by no means a child-abuser. It also bothered me that you were so quick to jump to such a harsh opinion of someone else. In my opinion the images are beautiful and compelling and I feel sorry that you can’t see the beauty in the work.

  38. Anonymous says:

    mr. hawk-

    you are either a complete idiot or you’ve never had kids, or both. kids cry 100 times a day over nothing. capturing them doing what they do naturally is not abuse. “stripping them of their clothes”? What? Get out a here! Kids hate wearing clothes…it’s an effort to make them keep their clothes on….

    You obviuosly know nothing about children and the world would be better off without your stupid ininformed opinions. Stop before you blog again. you probably love all of the attention this thread is getting- but it’s more about jill’s artistry than your lame observation….

  39. Anonymous says:

    These Greenbarf photos are totally exploiting children. It’s one thing to have a professional child actor cry on set, but to enduce them into crying using a manipulative trick with candy is just down right malevolent. Powerless children don’t have the understanding to object to discomfort but they clearly didn’t know what they were getting into…. and for what, some kiddie-fiddler headshots?
    This work speaks of a desperate attempt by a commercial artist to gain some recognition in the modern art world. If she gets her work placed in the National Portrait gallery permanent collection I’ll shut my mouth, but I don’t see any serious art critic getting behind this work. And to have them topless is only struggling to play into some form of sexualization. The gallery that shows this work is not even on the radar. Look at their artist list? It’s all controversy and no merit. nuff said

  40. Anonymous says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you even know how she got these kids upset in the first place? She gave them candy, then took it away from them. That is hardly child abuse. You obviously have no knowledge of photography, or even children for that matter. All of the images are VERY digitally inhanced to make the children seem much more “teary” then they really are. And parents HAVE to be present at shoots with children.

    Children cry throughout the day for NO reason. This is so far from child abuse it’s rediculous. And pornography? Do you even know what pornography is? These children are not sexually exploited in ANY way.

    You’re an idiot.

  41. Kate G says:

    Picture this:

    I sat here, as a victim of ACTUAL child pornography, and and read this:

    “Although the children are not sexualized, I consider what she is doing child pornography of the worst kind.”

    What do you think that was like for me to read that? How offensive? Do you even know what child pornography is? How many people have to make this comment, you sick bastard, before you own up to this statement? You should be endlessly apologetic for this.

    Like Jennifer said, “When I read that, you lost all credibility.”

    I guarantee you, by making that crude little statement of yours, you affected me in a far more negative way than Jill Greenberg affected those kids.

    So let’s hear it. Let’s hear you back up that statement, you sick fuck!

    I would also like to state that while I don’t really care for this exhibit of hers, I can say that if my Mom submitted me to that photo shoot when I was a toddler, I wouldn’t care one bit.

    But obviously you’ve shown us already that you don’t actually know what child abuse really is, so hey.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I respect the opinion that what Greenberg is doing is wrong. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but you have every right to believe that it is. But calling for arrest and charges of child abuse is really kneejerk and over the top. She’s not traumatizing these children.


  43. Sherry says:

    Im a a fairly young inspiring photographer and I one hundred percent support what Jill Greenberg is doing.I truly believe that no harm is being done to these children,I currently work at a daycare and I witness children having temper tantrums for something as small as a crayon being taken away.
    Have some respect for the woman, she is doing no harm.The parents are there for the duration of the shoot and if they disagreed with what she was doing im pretty sure they would not allow the photographs to be published or even taken.Ive had enough of people declaring that this is “child pornography”
    Art should be about emotion and capturing it at the right moment.
    I mean you all have a right to an opinion, but come on saying such hurtful things, and comparing her to Hitler, well there is no need for that,it is inapropriate and unfair to say. She is a mother and a damn good photographer.
    You are all taking this way to seriously, It shouldn’t be anything for you yourself to be worrying about, it is the parents that should be worried, and they clearly are not.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I think the fact that these photographs have raised such a controversy is a direct representation of our society today: a society so repressed that anyone is afraid to simply speak their mind, for fear of speaking out of turn or saying something judged to be “not PC”. People can barely tell the difference between discrimination and bare facts, we have become so easily offended and mentally weak. What is wrong with this society, that we cannot tolerate a simple point against our favour? Thomas Hawk’s statement is a gross overexaggeration, and, as he so keenly argues, “as a father”, he ought to know better. Has he never seen his child cry or become angry? Has he never seen them furiously lose their temper or become extremely upset? These are emotions often felt by every human being ever to exist on this earth, and no one will ever be spared from the emotions which make up our very beings and lives. Children fly into tantrums at the most trivial things, and to compare Jill Greenberg’s treatment of them to abuse is simply disgusting. If this is abuse, Mr Hawk obviously needs to be enlightened to the ways of the world. The horrific things many children have had to face simply does not compare. If the distress these children feel in these photographs by having a lollypop given to them, then taken away, is the most anguish they must ever endure in their lives, then I think everyone will agree they are extremely lucky human beings.


  45. Anonymous says:

    jill greenberg and company are obviously responding to the comments in this blog!!!! Calling people idiots if they don’t like their comments. Can’t handle the criticism Huh? wa, wa, wa, who’s crying now? And learn to spell, you freakin posers…

    San Francisco

  46. Let’s change the situation a bit: Say you’re in a grocery store and you see a woman alternately giving and taking a lollipop from her child until the kid breaks out in tears. What’s your response? Do you just ignore it and walk away thinking, “Oh well, the kid will get over it?” That’s not my approach. I’d be in her face and would likely call the police. It may only be emotional abuse, but it is still abuse. The fact that there is a reason for doing it doesn’t change that, nor does the excuse that kids always cry and will recover. Take a strap to a kid’s ass and they’ll get over that, too. Where do you draw the line? There is only one way to treat a child, and that is with love, respect and compassion. I don’t care how many times this technique has been used for movies and commercials–it is still wrong.

    I’ve admired Jill Greenberg’s work for a long time. One of her books is on my coffee table at home. But this endeavor earns a zero in my opinion. There is absolutely no justification for it.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I think you should get you information straight. My daughter was an actor/model for this shoot, and by no means was there any ‘abuse’ going on. The children knew exactly what was going on. My daughter was informed that the photography was aiming to “capture her naughty moments”, so she was given permission to yell and scream, and she loved that. The moments you dont catch in these photographs are the giggling between photos. Also, the photos capture extreme distress, though its only a fraction of a second, in actual fact, even i am suprised at how extreme the photos turned out as she looked nowhere near as angry/upset on the day. Its the magic in what she does that give you the idea the children where crying hours at a time. My daughter was only on set for 15mins and loved every second of it.

    I beg you find something to do with you life. This is an excellent exibition of how children may feel if they knew about the troubles in the world, and i think you should look at it as a farcical peice of works, this is not reality.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Everyone here is completely ruining the mindset of “emotional abuse”. From the posts made by mothers of the children in these photo shoots, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But…

    To those of you who are bitching about this being child abuse, IT’S NOT. For those of you begging to treat children with love and compassion, STOP. I’m no suicidal maniac, but kids these days have no idea what the real world will be like. As a child, I was protected from society like I was behind the Great Wall of China. I didn’t even know about things like sex and violence until the ripe age of 15. I’m not saying to go take a whip to your children, but there needs to be a change in your ideals for the better. If you mean love and compassion as in spoiling your kids and being their eternal guardian, you have problems. Children need to learn at an early age that life isn’t always a breeze, and you won’t always be able to keep that lollipop. Kids everywhere are fighting over possessions: toddlers are taking each others’ candy, kids are taking their siblings’ toys, teens are getting things like iPods and wallets stolen, and adults everywhere are getting burglarized every day. I do understand the fact that beating your child is the wrong way to go, but there is a neutral point: break in your child, but don’t push it. Being put in a military-style boot camp at a local military base while I was eight for the sole purpose of failing an art class, I know that the envelope can be pushed too far here. If you are protecting your children, I urge you to tone down security. An old friend of my parents was so protected that she did not even get “the talk” until her first boyfriend told her, at the age of 23. She never even knew curse words existed, and to this day I believe she still doesn’t know. She is 45 now, single and living a terribly excluded life. She was seriously shielding herself from the outside world. She gained many many enemies throughout the years, and was killed recently by one of them. DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE SO SCARED OF THE OUTSIDE WORLD TO END UP LIKE HER?

    Please, there’s a difference between loving and caring for your child and protecting them from the world.

    And if you think you know child porn inside and out, and you believe this is child pornography, get Warez or something. You need a lesson.

  49. catherine says:

    The fact that all you people commenting about how Jill’s pictures is bull shit, with stupid words such as torment, child porn and abuse? come on these children only got their lolly pops taken away from them.. they cry.. so what? Think of all the children around the world.. who get abused much worst then a simple lolly pop? what about the children who have to fight in wars.. children who do actully get sexual abused and it actully happens to them but just you cant see it..

    Funny how noone here would waste their time commenting on Jills work if it was all happy smiling children?

    Ok, these pictures are uncomfable, because noone likes to see any one suffering or crying especially young children.. but in this world it happens and the fact that people who are angred by this picture are agnorant because children do cry just jill has the courage to photograph it..

  50. Anonymous says:

    I think that this post is completely ridiculous. In my opinion Greenberg’s work is brilliant. She has a unique signature style and i don’t understand why you people really feel it necessary to waste your time nit picking at her work. Why dont you all just sit back a minute and try to remember specifically a time when you cried, at that age, because someone took a lolly away from you.
    I bet the majority of you cant. Its not harmful and its certainly not child abuse. Whatever happened to freedom of artistic expression?

  51. Anonymous says:

    You sound rediculous, shut up and get a life. Jill Greenbeerg is an inspiration.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Jill Greenurg is an amazing photographer, she uses her talent not only to show REAL LIFE but to capture the beauty of animals, to show off celebs and make advertisments. I have real life in capitals because as regards the children crying, its not like this is a totally out of the ordinary. They cry for any little reason, mainly for attention. Do me a favour, all the haters, go into a shop, any shop, you are guarenteed to find a child throwing a tantrum because its mother or father won’t buy it something they want, is this child abuse? Does it make you want to make you call the police? Didn’t think so. So what she took a lolly from a child, took photos and digitally changed it to excentuate tears, wrinkles and drool, as soon as the lolly was given back to the child all was forgotten. The parents were there the whole time (except for the pictures where the emotion was captured by parents leaving) and had total control of the situation, if they wanted it to stop, Jill would stop.

    I am so sick of reading people’s stupid comments and questions, people who just saw some pictures and hopped on the dissing band waggon, do some research, then you have every right to your opinion.

    When I saw the pictures first I thought they were amazing and so truthful. I made my mind up even before i read the article attached or did the research. Does that make me an evil child hater? Maybe according to some people, i just think I have a more realistic view on the world than others. When I was a child I was slapped for doing something wrong, and if I cried I was slapped again and told to “stop f*****g crying” My mother, child abuser? Jill Greenburg, child abuser? You decide?

  53. Charlo says:

    I’m sorry, but what was that Mr.Hawk? Hold on, let me quote you…

    “I consider what she is doing child pornography of the worst kind.”

    ummmm… if you think evoking temper tantrums is the WORST kind of child pornography, than there is quite obviously something wrong with you, and the fact that you, a father, feel that other, more sexual photographs of children are nothing in comparison to this…

    well that, my friend, makes me sick and want to vomit, and I am highly surprised that in the 100 or so of these comments I have read, only 1 other person has noticed this reference to pornography.

    As for the debate of whether or not it is absolutely horrible and traumatizing to take a lollipop away from a toddler for the sake of making them cry… Y’all can debate that to the death along with “is spanking ethical.”

  54. Alissa says:

    Jill Greenberg is horrifying in so many ways. Everything she does supports some type of crime. I have read most people’s responses, and I think that anyone who agrees with this sorry excuse for a woman needs to get up and enroll on college. Get an education, and stop being perverts. This human who calls herself a woman is a terrible person and anyone who promotes her work is uneducated, perverted, misoginistic, or just plain evil. The people who agree with her in this blog are proof that not enough Americans go to college.

  55. Richard Andrew says:

    This makes me sick, cruelty to children in the ‘Art’ would is thus converted into
    “Jill Greenberg’s images are sharp and saturated, stunning and quirky; her work is soaked with realism and imagination”,
    ‘realism and imagination’, you must be having a laugh. So it’s ok to bully because it’s so real and imaginative?, no, it’s cruel, end of.

  56. Anonymous says:

    you guys are all very very pathetic people.. -_-

    im a mother.. and i have to say – i love her photography…

    taking candy from a baby to make them cry isnt bad.. whats bad.. and what you all should be going out and bitching about is the children who are being sold on the black market.. that actually have something to cry about.. But probably dont because they’ve become hard and emotionless..

    give the woman a break.. and go fight for something that actually hurts people..

  57. Anonymous says:

    Jill Greenberg is a very unethical woman.
    I’ve been watching kids for 10 years and I’ve never had a kid cry for no reason and making them cry for no reason is wrong. I do not care if the children were not actually harmed. If you as a parent let your child cry just for the hell of it to get a photo, you’re a bad parent and probably just in it for the money that you child will never see.

  58. Nik says:


    I am a random person who came across the Jill Greenbery crying baby photographs. They are stunningly beautiful and gut wrenching. I love them. They are fantastic art. Absolutely great.

    Normally, I wouldn’t bother to write you to tell you this. But I’ve come across a few websites where people are calling the making of these photographs “child abuse”. That’s nuts. They’re also posting your email address and encouraging people to write you and say stupid things.

    I hope you’re not listening to these idiots.


    Nikolaus Maack

  59. L says:

    ” I think that anyone who agrees with this sorry excuse for a woman needs to get up and enroll on college.”

    Masters in English, BS in neuroscience & BA in Eenglish here. Also two associates in computery things.

    I don’t know why anyone would want a picture of a child for any reason, but at least these are accurate. Those damn things are screaming all the time. FGM, beating, circumcision, sexual assault… that’s abuse. This woman’s art is definitely outside my realm of artistic interest, but it doesn’t rise to a sane person’s definition of abuse.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what kind of selfproclaimed psychologist AND judge you are, but you come from another planet. Making small children cry from taking away a lollipop does NOT lead to traumatic lives or difficulties in their future. And this is FAR from pornography. Perhaps you are either a fanatic Christian or some sectarian fanatic but the way you seem to judge this artist as sick and what not is beyond rationality.

    I’ve been abused (not sexually) but violently and emotionally during my childhood and i would have rather had this happen to me then anything that really happened to me.

    These photographs are incredibly well taken, technically superb and convey normal healthy childhood emotions in a way rarely seen like this before. There’s nothing about these pictures that the kids need to be ashamed about.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Ms Greenberg’s photos are nothing short of vile.


    I’m not sure what can be done about Greenberg. I’m not sure if the law would in fact define child abuse as purposefully inflicting emotional pain on a child but something should be done and this is not something that we as an enlightened society should tolerate.

    It seems odd that you are worried about “laws” and “society”, when you have lost all credibility on this point by choosing to break the rules that inconvenience you and then insisting on boasting about breaking them!

    Perhaps you should blog a list of rules and laws that Thomas Hawk thinks we should all abide by and those which he thinks we should break so that we might all participate that in this “enlightened society” that you clearly have defined in your head!

  62. thinking says:

    Thank so very much for linking to the gallery. The photographs are amazing. The depth of raw emotion that children are able to convey due to the lack of social inhibitions is amazing. The techniques used are so far from being harsh, children will experience far worse in their lives. Simply taking a piece of candy from them is something that will be done time & time again in the coming few years. This art is beautiful, and your “analysis” shallow.

  63. duh says:

    one commenter wrote: “These Greenbarf photos are totally exploiting children. It’s one thing to have a professional child actor cry on set, but to enduce them into crying using a manipulative trick with candy is just down right malevolent.”

    You are clueless. What do think this is? These are children “actors” crying on a set. The child “actors” you think it’s okay to have cry are manipulated in the EXACT same manner to cry as these were. You give them candy then take it away. There is zero difference.

  64. joey says:

    Whatever her intention was, the moment she provokes these children to do something against their will, for her own profit, financially and professionally,hers was a mind twisted and devoid of any sensitivity which a civilized human being, even the most eccentric artist, should have.

    Her husband’s reply made them sick minds twice over. Contrary to his lame defense, being related to these children is no excuse. IT MADE THE ABUSE EVEN WORSE!

    Children cannot speak their minds out unlike Mr and Mrs Greenberg who unfortunately use their right to express in the most indignant manner for the sake of profit and fame.

    They are both no different from the Jewish Annihilator and Chemical Ali of the lower kind.

    I am just wondering what the Secretary for Social Welfare and the Attorney General are doing on this? Would you rather wait to be featured after McCain on the cover of Atlanta??

    Congratulations, Thomas. Although this thread may be not your “forte” (according to bikr),your social responsibility and concern for the welfare of children who have no ability to defend themselves make you a genuine artist because you are in touch with your humanities while keeping your senses.

    Nice job, Thomas… nice job.

  65. Anonymous says:

    liberal piece of crap

  66. Anonymous says:

    liberal piece of crap

  67. Anonymous says:

    none of the links you provide to show proof of your allegations work.

  68. Anonymous says:

    You are right. It is a sign of the times that such a work could have been conjured up in the first place.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I can’t say that this woman should be arrested, but I was saddened to see the pictures of the crying children. I am a mother, first and foremost, so I cannot understand who would allow their child to be manipulated in that manner. It is cruel to give a child something and then just take it away for you own personal gain. What this woman does is wrong. These children cannot even consent…where is the law?

  70. Steve Clancy says:

    If this were being done to adults who were mentally deficient (with their guardian’s consent) would this change anyone’s opinion, pro or con?

  71. Turtle says:

    you guys have amazing comments………Darshni solve that problem!

  72. AMANDA says:


  73. When I first visit Bangkok I found that I can see Temples everywhere, especially during the tour of the Chao Phraya River. I’ve saw the real lifes of people living on both sides of the river, It’s a heart warming experience for me. One things to remember: when visiting temples, show respect to the Buddha, and the monks. Take off your shoes before entering into the hall and don’t wear shorts or tank tops in temples.

  74. […] Porträts der „Crying Babies“ einiges an Unverständnis und Widerspruch abbekommen (hier zum Beispiel, in bester Blog-Manier formuliert: „Jill Greenberg is a sick woman who should be arrested and […]

  75. k says:

    I’ve seen the photos and heard the story. You need to relax–and read the dictionary definition of child abuse.

  76. […] a torrent of outrage by parents and bystanders that found what she did as cruel and child abuse. Some called for her to be […]

  77. renee says:

    she will reap what she sows. karma. woe to someone who distresses a child on purpose for money. she will have a ‘lot’ to answer for in the day of judgement

  78. renee says:

    also, mainly, ‘why’ does she have them naked? talk about degrading!! ‘makes’ them cry on ‘purpose’, and all while naked? evil, wrong, all for the sake of trying to evoke emotions of people viewing the pictures. arent there better ways to use our time here on earth? how selfish to do this at the expense of kids and their dignity! they cant even say no to this! its wrong on every account. we should not ‘use’ kids in this manner, so we, as adults, with rights and privileges, can ‘get off’ on having our emotions evoked while viewing this. yes, its as bad as child porn….

  79. Bob says:

    I am actually more distraught by the comments on here than the images themselves.

    I have absolutely zero problem with pictures of crying children. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that Greenberg did not go out and photograph some child crying out in the world, she brought children into a studio and made them cry. That is not art, that is exploitation. No one is debating that kids naturally cry in the world, or that denying what they want is child abuse.

    Greenberg’s work is like running over a squirrel and then taking a picture of it as a portrait of man’s impact on the environment. It happens all the time, why not artificially evoke it inside a photographer’s studio?

    People are way too caught up in the “correct definition” of child abuse. You shouldn’t have to consult a dictionary in order to define what is abuse for a child, it should be pretty clear. When you induce enough stress in a child to cause them to cry, that’s abuse. And even though some of you can’t remember the early years of your life, there are plenty of people who carry these memories with them forever.

    I still have early embarrassing moments of adults doing things they thought were funny/clever but I didn’t understand. That’s what these kids will probably experience. They don’t understand why they are crying, they just are because someone wanted them to. It will be confusing later in life why they were offered something, then “punished” by having it taken away, then a bunch of bright lights flashed and then they got it back again.

    I’m also noticing that most of the comments in defense of Greenberg are sufferers of child abuse themselves, which is strangely ironic. People who grew accustomed to being beaten when they were young seem to be the only ones who appreciate this as art. Well that’s great that you can relate to their pain, but you shouldn’t be encouraging it.

    Everyone freaking out over how people are making “such a fuss” need to realize: this is the internet. The internet is the ultimate bathroom wall. There are only a few hundred comments on here, out of the billions of people surfing the web. No one is making a fuss, people are just expressing their minds… just like you.

    It is a raw emotion Greenberg has brought to the surface, at the expense of these kids’ lives. I don’t care how minor or how quickly she did this, it is exploitation of other people for her gain.

  80. ME says:

    If what you say is true (the photo you link to is just some girl/woman not doing much at all) then she should be locked up.

    Taking innocent photos of kids, naked or not, is one thing.

    Causing distress to them, deliberately, is another matter entirely, as is FORCING a child to be naked. Someone needs to make a report. You in the same country as her? Make a police report

  81. […] of you may possibly recall that recently I are already upset within the methods of photographer Jill Greenberg in working with and photographing children. Jill may be the just one who strips kids along after […]

  82. […] Jill Greenberg is a Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse (thomashawk.com) Everyman has his say. […]

  83. […] disagrees with her and is critical of her work and methods. Some of you may recall that recently I have been upset by the methods of photographer Jill Greenberg in dealing with and photographing children. Jill is the one who strips kids down and then works […]

  84. […] of you may recall that recently I have been upset by the methods of photographer Jill Greenberg in dealing with and photographing children. Jill is the one who strips kids down and then works […]

  85. Jaime says:

    I have an issue with a company that allowed the posting of one of these photographs even when they were informed of how they were created. They remained there for 3 days before someone finally had the sense to pull it, however they still have not corrected the issues created after it was posted. I have been slandered ridiculed and banned form their boards for being outspoken. Their contact information is on my site

  86. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen the photos in question for some time now and to be honest
    the first one I saw I thought at first looked almost like a painting.
    This leads me to wonder if they have been enhanced in some way using PhotoShop or some other software the same way she doctored up photographs of McCAIN.

  87. Terry says:

    Interesting point Anonymous. After all if hollywood can make realistic looking horror films of peoples hearts being torn out or limbs being ripped off why not this? After looking at them they do look sorta fake.

    Not sure???

  88. […] of you may recall that recently I have been upset by the methods of photographer Jill Greenberg in dealing with and photographing children. Jill is the one who strips kids down and then works […]

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