(Time remaining: )
Play from beginning
Whether satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, the artists in Transformation—Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and Paul McCarthy—inhabit the characters they create and capture the sensibilities of our age.More information and credits
Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Nick Ravich. Production Coordinator: Larissa Nikola-Lisa. Consulting Director: Charles Atlas. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Director of Photography: Philippe Charluet, Bob Elfstrom, Richard Numeroff, Ian Serfontein, & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Mark Cornish, Doug Dunderdale, Roger Phenix, Paul Stadden, & Merce Williams. Assistant Camera: Gideon Jennings, Clair Popkin, Michael Pruitt-Bruun, Adriano Vasquez, & Claudia Woloshin. On Screen Interviews: Ann Marie Peña & Damon McCarthy.
Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Direction & Design: Open, New York. Graphics Animation: Maurice Caicedo & Urosh Perishic. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins & Greg Smith. Sound Mix: Cory Melious. Artwork Animation: Frank Ferrigno. Assistant Editor: Ahmed Amer, Janine Cappadona, Paulo Padilha, Joaquin Perez, Leana Siochi, & Ken Yapelli.
Artworks Courtesy of: Paul McCarthy; Cindy Sherman; Yinka Shonibare MBE; Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, London, New York; James Cohan Gallery, New York; Metro Pictures, New York; & Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; Michael Ashburn; Amy Baumann; Travis Call; Pat Casteel and Steve Wylie; Ginger Cofield; Ralph Cuccurullo; Jon Dawe; Dog Bark Sound; Kym Elphinstone; Frame:Runner, NYC; Thomas Harris; Tom Heman; Naotaka Hiro; Rachel Kent; Angela Kunicky; Mark Lan; Margaret Lee; Sheila Lynch; The McCarthy family; Craig McIntyre; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The National Gallery of Victoria, Sydney; Paul McCarthy Studio, Los Angeles; Christopher Rawson; Andre Ribuoli; Ann-Marie Rounkle; Susan Schneider; Keith Shapiro; Skarstedt Gallery, New York; Leily Soleimani; Jessica Sonders; Sound Lounge; Lauri Stern; Jacobine Van Der Meer; Kara Vander Weg; Tony Volante; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; James Woodward; & John Wyver.
Additional Art21 Staff: Beth Allen, Mary Cook, Joe Fusaro, Jessica Hamlin, Jennifer H. Lee, Marc Mayer, Jonathan Munar, Katherine Payne, Kelly Shindler, & Sara Simonson.
Interns: Maggie Bordonaro, Krystle DeMauro, Natalia P. Good, Sophie Grant, Pinchang Huang, Joy Lai, Rachele Lam, Jamie Leonardi, Melanie K. Mambo, Pauli Ochi, Sara Odam, David Roesing, Nicole Ross, Nicole Sansone, & Julia Wright.
Public Relations: Goodman Media International. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: Valerie Riley. Travel Agent: Lita Gottesman.
Major underwriting for “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season Five provided by: National Endowment for the Arts; Public Broadcasting Service; Agnes Gund; Bloomberg; The Nathan Cummings Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Broad Art Foundation; Korea Foundation; & The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.
Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.
Stay inspired this summer with Summer of Shorts, featuring ten new films premiering across ten consecutive Fridays throughout the summer.
In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives. While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch to art history to green-screen technology.
Paul McCarthy’s video-taped performances and provocative multimedia installations lampoon polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard the viewer with a sensory overload, of often sexually-tinged, violent imagery. With irreverent wit, McCarthy often takes aim at cherished American myths and icons—Walt Disney, the Western, and even the Modern Artist—adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity. Whether conflating real-world political figures with fantastical characters such as Santa Claus, or treating erotic and abject content with frivolity and charm, McCarthy’s work confuses codes, mixes high and low culture, and provokes an analysis of fundamental beliefs.
Known for using batik in costumed dioramas that explore race and colonialism, Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) also employs painting, sculpture, photography, and film in work that disrupts and challenges our notions of cultural identity. Taking on the honorific MBE as part of his name in everyday use, Shonibare plays with the ambiguities and contradictions of his attitude toward the Establishment and its legacies of colonialism and class. In multimedia projects that reveal his passion for art history, literature, and philosophy, Shonibare provides a critical tour of Western civilization and its achievements and failures.
“My work seems to be about tearing down and opening up conventions.”