This is a complete presentation on Cindy Sherman, Modern Art Photography, Art History, which is highly visual and thoroughly annotated. My preview is 20 of the actual slides.
Cindy Sherman (Bullet Points)
born Cynthia Morris Sherman, in 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey. The family moved thereafter to Long Island.
Educated at Buffalo State College, BFA
Best known work: Complete Untitled Film Stills, 1977–1980
Began studying painting in college but switched to photography because: ”There was nothing more to say through painting. I was meticulously copying other art and then I realized I could just use a camera and put my time into an idea instead.”
Sherman works in series of photographs. She photographs herself in a variety of costumes, wigs, makeup and props.
Sherman shoots alone in her studio, doing it “all”, that being: creator, director, photographer, make-up artist, hairstylist, costume and set designer, prop person and model.
Sherman said when asked about her acting ability: “I never thought I was acting. When I became involved with close-ups I needed more information in the expression. I couldn't depend on background or atmosphere. I wanted the story to come from the face. Somehow the acting just happened.”
The 1980s saw Sherman switch to color film and a larger format.
She wanted to exhibit very large prints with a focus on lighting and facial expression.
Sherman’s work has been classed as Feminist. This is her response: “The work is what it is and hopefully it's seen as feminist work, or feminist-advised work, but I'm not going to go around espousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff.”
Sherman does not give explanations for the pieces. If you read her many reviews, experts have guessed at her intent but no one actually knows it.
Photographic Process Choices:
Sherman’s choices of processes for making her prints are as follows:
gelatin silver print for her black and white photographs
chromogenic color print for color photographs, starting when she switched to color in 1980
dye sublimation metal print for color photographs as used in her latest series of Aging Stars.
computer and digital manipulation and assemblage of her photos
unless otherwise noted, these are the processes used in the pictures shown herein.
EXCERPT 3: MOVIE STILLS
Sherman’s chameleon-like ability to disappear into her characters suggests she could have had a career making films. She has made some films but thus far they have not been as successful for her as her still photography.
One factor could be that film is a collaborative medium whereas Sherman did everything herself in creating these pictures, with no collaborators.
Sherman played all of the actresses playing all of the roles which is entirely different from playing all of the roles.
Sherman wanted us to examine the movie culture of these women and not individual movies. That is why these film stills remind us of certain movies we’ve seen. Yet we can tell right away that they are not, in fact, those films.
Sherman especially wanted to capture the blank expression that certain European actresses had mastered, such as Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau and Sophia Loren. Viewers found that blank expression within her stills vaguely disturbing, which is the effect she desired.
Sherman’s Film Stills ultimately force us to acknowledge the effect that films have had in shaping our identities. For Sherman, identity through her photography became the most fluid of concepts and photography the most fluid medium.