Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1990 (source)

Cindy Sherman, Film still #13, 1978 (source)

Cindy Sherman, (source)

Cindy Sherman, (source)
Cindy Sherman is a living artist, she was born in 1954- and is an inspiration to me- in that she eschewed 'high art' (the big well accepted mediums and styles- painting and sculpture) in favour of doing something that was slightly off the wall- at the time in the art world. I love the way she talks about her work- the way she allows it to stand on it's own, even to the point of leaving it untitled, which allows the viewer to decide what her message is. I think that's incredibly gutsy. These images are some of her tamer works- she has several other series that are much more graphic, much more explicitly dealing with 'feminist' issues if you get what I mean- they're interesting as well- worth checking out if that's your thing.

Her works are self portraits- photographs in which she plays a role- some of these above are famous paintings, and others are film stills, or stereotypical characters like socialites. I think it's a strong comment on the role of women as 'subject'- by making herself the subject what is she saying? Is it actually a self portrait if you're playing a role in the photo? It's also an interesting comment on the role permanency and medium in art- it's interesting to think about what the end result of the art is- when is it art- when she's done making the scene and the costuming is set- or when the final photo is developed? Is the photo itself the art? Or is it just a document of the installation, which is itself the actual art.

I love the details that she's created in the photos- and sort of wish that there was a gallery somewhere that housed her 'sets', I think they're incredible. I also love that she can lose herself so completely within the roles- that there's always a second that you're not sure if it's actually a photograph of her, and that even after you've seen hundreds of 'self portraits' you're still not quite sure what Cindy Sherman looks like.

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