Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Cindy Sherman

Another in our occasional posts about master photographers. Cindy Sherman is unusual as a photographer, she only photographers herself, most photographers I know avoid having their photographs taken. Her work is challenging, some may say disturbing but her intelligent approach to making art demands you think about what she is saying through her images. This short introduction from her biography site explains some..

By turning the camera on herself, Cindy Sherman has built a name as one of the most respected photographers of the late twentieth century. Although, the majority of her photographs are pictures of her, however, these photographs are most definitely not self-portraits. Rather, Sherman uses herself as a vehicle for commentary on a variety of issues of the modern world: the role of the woman, the role of the artist and many more. It is through these ambiguous and eclectic photographs that Sherman has developed a distinct signature style. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has raised challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art.”…..more here

She is featured on the Masters of Photography site with more images

 

There is also a very interesting interview with Cindy Sherman in The Guardian here are the opening paragraphs

“I give Cindy Sherman the once-over. Then the twice- and thrice-over. I know I’m staring more than is right but I can’t help myself. I’m looking for clues. Sherman is one of the world’s leading artists – for 30 years, she has starred in all her photographs – and yet the more we see of her, the less recognisable she is.

She’s a Hitchcock heroine, a busty Monroe, an abuse victim, a terrified centrefold, a corpse, a Caravaggio, a Botticelli, a mutilated hermaphrodite sex doll, a man in a balaclava, a surgically-enhanced Hamptons type, a cowgirl, a desperate clown, and we’ve barely started.

In front of me is an elegant woman with long, blond hair and soft features. She’s stylish – black jodhpurs, thick, white sweater, Chanel boots horizontally zipped at the top to make pockets, and a furry handbag that doubles as a great golden bear. She looks much kinder than in many of her photographs. She also looks petite – until you notice the big, strong arms: she used to box. She will be 57 next week.”

For many her assault on the way the fashion industry objectifies and presents women was primary in forging her reputation as one of the most important photographers working over the last 30 years. 

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