Cindy Sherman

Born: 1954

Hometown: Glen Ridge, NJ

Lives and Works: New York, NY

Education: BA, Photography, State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1976

Works by the Artist

Cindy Sherman Bio

About The Artist

Known for posed photographs that explore and question representations of women from Renaissance portraiture to contemporary mass media, Cindy Sherman is one of the most important artists working today. Serving as her own model in the majority of her work, Sherman's self-portraits came to prominence in the late 1970s through a series of black-and-white photographs called Untitled Film Stills. In these works, produced between 1977 and 1980 and evocative of glossy 8x10-inch publicity shots, Sherman used different costumes, backdrops, wigs, facial expressions, make-up, and poses to transform herself into a range of female archetypes from debutante to starlet, from housewife to lush.

A remarkable performer, Sherman reconfigures her face and body for the camera — either through subtle distortions or grotesque prosthetics — to render herself all but unrecognizable to the audience. Each image is overloaded with detail, every nuance caught by the artist's eye. While Sherman is usually disguised in her pictures, she leaves details slightly askew so that the constructed scene, and its related artifice, is revealed.

Since the early 1980s, most of Sherman's work has been of larger scale and in color, but her principal concern—to confront how media influences our perception of identity— has remained constant. All of the photographs are untitled and Sherman's characters (with the exception of several sequential shots in the Untitled Film Still series) have never appeared twice, leaving the viewer to consider the works without any narrative help from the artist.

Click here to read about Cindy Sherman's dark side.


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