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Mannequins & MasksCindy Sherman
Surveying some of the props she’s used over the years, including masks and mannequin parts, artist Cindy Sherman demonstrates how she uses stand-ins to gauge the focus and composition of her images.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Cindy Sherman.
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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.
Performance & Roleplaying
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.