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Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits.In 1995, she was the recipient of a Mac Arthur Fellowship.
I wasn't thinking in terms of precious prints or archival quality; I didn't want the work to seem like a commodity." "We’re all products of what we want to project to the world.Sherman sought to call into question the seductive and often oppressive influence of mass-media over our individual and collective identities.Turning the camera on herself in a game of extended role playing of fantasy Hollywood, fashion, mass advertising, and "girl-next-door" roles and poses, Sherman ultimately called her audience's attention to the powerful machinery and make-up that lay behind the countless images circulating in an incessantly public, "plugged in" culture.Sexual desire and domination, the fashioning of self identity as mass deception, these are among the unsettling subjects lying behind Sherman's extensive series of self-portraiture in various guises.Sherman's work is central in the era of intense consumerism and image proliferation at the close of the 20th century.Even people who don’t spend any time, or think they don’t, on preparing themselves for the world out there - I think that ultimately they have for their whole lives groomed themselves to be a certain way, to present a face to the world." "Everyone thinks these are self-portraits but they aren’t meant to be.
I just use myself as a model because I know I can push myself to extremes, make each shot as ugly or goofy or silly as possible." "I am always surprised at all the things people read into my photos, but it also amuse me.
That may be because I have nothing specific in mind when I’m working. I try to put double or multiple meanings into my photos, which might give rise to a greater variety of interpretations." ," a loose circle of American artists who came to artistic maturity and critical recognition during the early 1980s, a period notable for the rapid and widespread proliferation of mass media imagery.
At first painting in a super-realist style in art school during the aftermath of American , Sherman turned to photography toward the end of the 1970s in order to explore a wide range of common female social roles, or personas.
Recalling a long tradition of self-portraiture and theatrical role-playing in art, Sherman utilizes the camera and the various tools of the everyday cinema, such as makeup, costumes, and stage scenery, to recreate common illusions, or iconic "snapshots," that signify various concepts of public celebrity, self confidence, sexual adventure, entertainment, and other socially sanctioned, existential conditions.
As though they constituted only a first premise, however, these images promptly begin to unravel in various ways that suggest how self identity is often an unstable compromise between social dictates and personal intention.
Sherman's photographic portraiture is both intensely grounded in the present while it extends long traditions in art that force the audience to reconsider common stereotypes and cultural assumptions, among the latter political satire, caricature, the graphic novel, pulp fiction, stand-up comedy (some of her characters are indeed uncomfortably "funny"), and other socially critical disciplines.