A few short notes on Cindy Sherman:
- She is known as ‘a contemporary master of socially critical photography’ (The Art Story)
- She explores female personas, sexual desire and domination and self identity and put names to female stereotypes
- Sherman uses many props, costumes, wigs and makeup to recreate her personas
- She has a single unifying trope in all her images, namely that she gazes directly at the viewer of her photos, forcing a confrontation and allowing the viewer to compose his/her own narrative
- Her photos do not reveal any truth – they are all fabricated narratives
- Sherman was heavily influenced by watching TV and movies
- Cotton (2009, p. 192) makes the argument that Cindy Sherman’s work is ‘the prime exemplar of postmodern art photography’.
- She generated an entire following of photographers working in a style similar to hers, e.g. Ryan Trecartin and Nikki Lee.
… Cindy Sherman has shown herself to be the ultimate master of self-morphing, utilizing everything from old-fashioned makeup and prosthetics to digital technology, inventing and portraying extraordinary alter egos and multiple identities that brilliantly reflect our image-saturated culture—and in the process inventing her own genre.
Cotton, Charlotte (2009). The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
Hoban, Phoebe (2012). The Cindy Sherman Effect [online]. Art News. Available from: http://www.artnews.com/2012/02/14/the-cindy-sherman-effect/ [Accessed 1 March, 2016]
Cindy Sherman [online]. The Art Story | Modern Art Insight. Available from: http://www.theartstory.org/artist-sherman-cindy.htm [Accessed 1 March, 2016]
Robert Longo on Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #25 (1978) [webcast, online]. The Museum of Modern Art. 3 mins 26 secs. 19/01/2016. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9kL0YMpQDg (accessed 12/03/2016)
Transformation [webcast, online]. PBS.org Art 21. 54 mins 30 secs. 21/10/2009. Available at: http://www.pbs.org/video/1281770054/ (accessed 01/03/2016)