Posts tagged ART
Posts tagged ART
In the first gallery of Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, a tiny grid of 23 small contact photos draws patrons in. Handmade by Sherman in 1975 when she was just a student, Untitled #479 shows the metamorphosis of an anonymous woman as she moves across the grid from a bespectacled girl to kabuki performer to her final stage, a Marlene Dietrich-type who hangs towards the front of the frame, cigarette in mouth, hair parted to the side, and a sensuous, downward glare.
For 35 years, Cindy Sherman has been transforming herself into characters and capturing them with her camera. But Sherman does not fall under any one label, which makes her a central figure in critical debate. To some she is a photographer; to others a performance artist. To some her work is feminist; to others, it’s quite the opposite. Issues of the male gaze, postmodernism, low art, high art, and self-portraiture, among others, have bounced between scholars as they search for her identity. If anything, this retrospective, organized by Associate Curator of Photography Eva Respini, allows Sherman’s photographs speak for themselves.
Whether a photographer or a photographer in disguise, Sherman has held onto her concept for years. And it was with that idea that helped integrate photography into the art world canon at a time when it was less understood; first with the sale of her complete Untitled Film Stills (1977–1980) to MoMA in 1995, and then in 2011 when her Untitled #96 sold for 3.9 million dollars at Christie’s, breaking world records as the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.
In late February, at the opening reception for her major retrospective, Cindy Sherman turned to Respini and said, “I feel like I’m a guest at my own wedding.”
TC: “Can you believe that shit about Sarah Palin?”
PF: “Don’t blame me, I voted for Frank Murkowski.”