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CharactersCindy Sherman

April 1, 2011

Cindy Sherman reveals how dressing up in character began as a kind of performance and evolved into her earliest photographic series such as Bus Riders (1976), Untitled Film Stills (1977-1980), and the untitled rear screen projections (1980).

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 lived out of frame. Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography.

More information and credits

Credits

Producer: Ian Forster, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Cindy Sherman. Video: © 2011, Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Cindy Sherman

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.

Staged Photography

13:28
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13:01
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17:03
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In 2008, twenty of Cindy Sherman’s History Portraits (1989–1990) were exhibited at Skarstedt Gallery in New York City. In the following interview, Sherman walks Art21 through the exhibition and discusses the ideas behind individual photographs as well as the overall series.

3:12
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Cindy Sherman

2:40
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Cindy Sherman

19:22
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