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insights into photography
Tag Archives: Cindy Sherman
April 8, 2016Posted by on
I came across this article and images in Bazaar and although intrigued by the pictures found myself uncertain about what was going on. I could instantly see how these related to her earlier work but the text and interview was confusing. Was she actually working for the fashion houses or are these true to form satirical images? The sub heading to the article is, so maybe, who knows? Text by Laura Brown and of course photographs by Cindy Sherman
In an exclusive series of satirical portraits, the famed contemporary artist arms herself with the season’s standout pieces. Her quest? Social media validation.
She began shooting portraits in the mid-’70s, while her landmark series, “Untitled Film Stills” (69 works in all, in which she embodied female stereotypes), was created between 1977 and 1980. The youngest—by many years—of five siblings, Sherman says her motivation to make portraits was a very basic need for attention. “They were already established as a family by the time I came along,” she recalls. “It was a way for me to say, ‘I’m here, you guys, don’t forget about me!’ Or ‘Maybe if you don’t like me this way, you’ll like me this way!’ Or ‘I can do this!’ “
Sherman’s parents weren’t as prone to introspection as their daughter. “I think they thought it was cute or something,” she says. “I know they didn’t think it would really turn into anything. When I went to college, my mother was always like, ‘Take some education courses just in case so you can always teach.’ They did see the early days of success; I think they started to realize it was a tangible thing for me.” She adds, “I still don’t think they really had a clue what I was doing.”…..
Today, Sherman could very much rest on her laurels. In 2012, New York’s Museum of Modern Art hosted a retrospective, and in 2011 one of her works, 1981’s Untitled #96,sold for $3.89 million at Christie’s (then a record for a photograph at auction). Ask if she’s still ambitious and she replies, “I want to continue to be happy with what I’m working on because that’s the biggest challenge. I’m hard on myself, but everyone is always waiting for someone to fall. That’s a common problem for artists. They fall into a mold of their greatest hits and just repeat it. WhenI feel that I’m repeating myself, or about to, it’s time to move.”
But when the work is done—new characters born, new realities created—Sherman exhales into her life. She’ll ride around Manhattan on her retro Pashley bicycle, or head out to her house on Long Island to collect her chickens’ eggs. Sometimes, when she’s feeling spent, she jaunts to a deprivational German health spa. Unlike the subjects of this series, she doesn’t live in the middle. “I don’t take selfies,” she says. “I hardly ever use my phone for photographs. It’s really hard to remember to even take a picture of something.” She shrugs. “Usually the moment is gone. I just don’t think about it.”
Sherman, 62, is one of the world’s greatest sociologists, so in a way, infiltrating the street-style species is a weirdly natural extension of her work. “You know, I never expected to be doing what I’m doing for as long as I’ve been doing it,” she says. “Every time I start a new project, it’s a new challenge, to try to think of new faces or new characters. Sometimes I feel I’m repeating characters that are poking out of these faces that I shot maybe eight years ago”—a fun exercise for Sherman nerds. “I take on projects like this when I’m starting on a new body of work because it inspires me, gets the juices flowing.”
see previous Posts
October 2, 2015Posted by on
From Gizmodo we get this, I think the most expensive may have been surpassed but it doesn’t matter
Sometimes photographers amaze us with their ability to uniquely reflect the world around us and get a look at it from a different angle. Other times, they depict images so disgusting or banal that it’s impossible to understand why so many consider their photographs masterpieces. The art market is inscrutable, especially when it comes to photography. The following ten photos, ranked by worth, sold for millions of dollars at auctions over the past few years.
1) Rhein II, by Andreas Gursky (1999). Sold for $4.3 million.
2) Untitled #96, by Cindy Sherman (1981). Sold for $3.9 million.
3) For Her Majesty, by Gilbert & George (1973). Sold for $3.7 million.
Photographer Peter Lik has sold a print for a cool $6.5 million
Australian landscaper photographer Peter Lik has set a new world record after a private unnamed collector purchased one of his photos for an unprecedented $6.5 million.
The black-and-white image, called “Phantom,” was taken in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, the Guardian reports.
June 29, 2014Posted by on
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.”
June 7, 2013Posted by on
I joke in class, when teaching camera use, the purpose of the self timer and that most photographers seem to want to be behind rather than in front of the camera. This article on the BBC website suggests that the non-photographer picture taking public are very keen on self portraiture. I am not sure this is hugely relevant but it makes interesting reading.
There’s a mania for sharing self-taken photographs online. But why, asks Charissa Coulthard.
The first smartphone with a forward-facing camera was the watershed moment.
You only need this second, forward-facing camera if you want to take pictures of yourself. Could there be any more conclusive indication of the ubiquity of the self-portrait or “selfie”?
The cameras, which focus automatically from arm’s length, invite us to photograph on the spur of the moment, regardless of location or company.
Images can be shared with thousands of other people. Its immediacy – Look where I am! Look what I’m doing! Look at what I look like! – is exciting. To some…..READ ON HERE
Evolution of a selfie: Charissa Coulthard before and after tips, and experimenting with a new look
For true evolutionary self portraiture the discerning look no further than Cindy Sherman
Art Becomes Her: In Honor of Cindy Sherman’s MoMA Retrospective, Five Tastemakers Reflect on Her Influence
Cindy Sherman has proven herself the ultimate master of disguise. For decades she has been her own model—donning wigs, makeup, prosthetics, and endless numbers of costumes in an astonishing series of uncanny photographs. READ MORE HERE
Relates Links (serious stuff first)
and the rest “selfie”
- A history of the selfie (bbc.co.uk)
- The Art of a Shameless Selfie (thebigredexperience.wordpress.com)
- Taking self-portraits with the Nokia 301 (conversations.nokia.com)
- Social site self-portraits–Jasmine’s Tech Dos & Don’ts (reviews.cnet.com)
- Never Be Ashamed to Take a Selfie (undreamedart.wordpress.com)
- Anatomy of a “Selfie” (viscerallyprimal.wordpress.com)
March 28, 2013Posted by on
OK these are not our choice but that of Sean O’Hagan writing in the Guardian. Sean is a really excellent writer on photography and whenever we feature one of his pieces we get comments both in agreement and opposition. This list is by our consideration controversial and seems to miss some of the obvious and maybe that is the point. We would ask, where is Robert Mapplethorpe or more importantly Cindy Sherman but that is something you might completely disagree with. Do go and have a look and either nod sagely in agreement with Sean or howl at all you think he has missed.
From Andy Warhol in drag and Giles Duley’s ‘broken statue’, to John Coplans’s back and Gillian Wearing as her father
Andy Warhol: Self-portrait in Drag, 1981. Photograph: The Andy Warhol Foundation
Warhol’s pop art depended on photography. He used found photographic images as the basis for many of his silk-screen paintings, but he also took thousands of Polaroids. Some became the source material for his commissioned portraits, but most were filed away in his archive – a kind of intimate visual record of his life. His most famous self-portrait features an exaggerated version of himself in a fright wig, but the series of self-portraits he made of himself in drag in 1981 is both more restrained and more formally accomplished. Here, the persona of celebrity blankness he so carefully cultivated is refined to an almost self-parodic extent: a mask of a mask.
March 2, 2012Posted by on
“In a camera-phone world, serious photography matters more than ever. To capture the medium’s vitality, Smithsonian asked 13 acknowledged masters to choose one emerging photographer who reflects the promise of a new generation. Their selections show that it’s not about the camera but the eye behind it.”
Here is one for you to savour, go here to see who else is considered to be a rising star
Lisa K. Blatt
Shooting Stars: Cindy Sherman presents Lisa K. Blatt
“My original response to Lisa’s work was visceral. I was intrigued by her minimalist compositions and use of subtle or brilliant color. I found something mysterious in them, as if they were so carefully composed as to be hiding some relevant content that one has to discern. Gorgeous nature photographs tend to seem like documentation and rarely transcend the surface of their loveliness. But while Lisa’s photographs clearly have a simple majestic beauty that has traces of natural or scientific photography, they are transcendent because of what I perceive as this element of an imbued narrative.
Her commitment to rediscovering the mystery and beauty of the hot and cold deserts of the earth, her true passion for these places, makes this work so resounding. It ultimately is a documentation of sorts—of her passion for these places that come alive in her eyes, in her camera.” — Cindy Sherman
Shooting Stars: Martin Parr presents Robin Maddock
“Maddock’s work clearly demonstrates that he is a force to be reckoned with within the tradition of British documentary photography. In his second book, God Forgotten Face, he builds a narrative around the city of Plymouth that just seems to work; the project is heightened by being “for and against” his now ex-girlfriend. Maddock’s views and snatches of life are both surreal and individual. He has the enviable ability to turn nothing much into something quite profound”. — Martin Parr
October 25, 2011Posted by on
11 August – 27 November 2011 admission free
“This display explores photographs that make reference to themselves, other media and texts, and demonstrates how such Postmodernist approaches to photography have persisted for over 30 years. Spanning the mid-1970s to the present day, it shows work by some of the most influential artists associated with Postmodernism, such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, alongside more recent work by Anne Hardy, David Shrigley, Clare Strand and others.”
So that is what postmodernism means,……. photographs that make reference to themselves, other media and texts
Clare Strand, from the series Signs of a Struggle, 2002. Gelatin silver print.
August 4, 2011Posted by on
Cindy Sherman, one of the most original photographic artists has again breached the world of commercial presentation, she did it before with her fashion series and now with MAC cosmestics on make-up. This well written article in the Guardian by Kira Cochrane explains
“Cindy Sherman fronting a MAC makeup collection? What took them so long? In some ways, when you consider why we wear makeup, this seems the perfect collaboration. We do it to play up and manipulate our features; to peacock, colour in, draw moons of light around our eyes and shades of suggestion on our lips, to make ourselves more visible. The other, not unrelated motive, is to hide in plain sight.
Sherman, now in her late 50s, has been doing just that for more than three decades. She has always been the subject of her own work, and earlier this year sold a self-portrait for $3.89m (£2.4m) – the highest price ever paid for a single photograph. And yet she remains anonymous. In her photographs, she uses makeup to transform herself, becoming simultaneously obscure and mesmerising. One moment she is Marilyn Monroe, the next a woman lying dead and gravel-grazed in a road – the next a creature with a woman’s hands and a pig’s snout.”...more
January 17, 2011Posted by on
“Photographer Gabriela Herman has put together a portrait collection of bloggers which puts a glowing face to the words and images that they produce and share” Someone should do the same for bloggers in the UK. What makes her pictures so interesting is the continuity of style, images on her website are well worth checking out especially if you are into a slightly alternative view, and following on from the post about Cindy Sherman, Gabriela also has a series of self-portraits, maybe someone in the UK should do the same…. Do go and look at her pictures.