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Cindy Sherman

American  •  b. 1954

Biography

Seminal to the Pictures Generation as well as contemporary photography and performance art, Cindy Sherman is a powerhouse art practitioner.  Wily and beguiling, Sherman's signature mode of art making involves transforming herself into a litany of characters, historical and fictional, that cross the lines of gender and culture. She startled contemporary art when, in 1977, she published a series of untitled film stills.

Through mise-en-scène​ and movie-like make-up and costume, Sherman treats each photograph as a portrait, though never one of herself. She embodies her characters even if only for the image itself. Presenting subversion through mimicry, against tableaus of mass media and image-based messages of pop culture, Sherman takes on both art history and the art world.

Though a shape-shifter, Sherman has become an art world celebrity in her own right. The subject of solo retrospectives across the world, including a blockbuster showing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a frequent exhibitor at the Venice Biennale among other biennials, Sherman holds an inextricable place in contemporary art history.

Insights

  • Sherman holds two of the top 10 records for fine art photography at auction.

  • Sherman had a rare cameo as herself in John Waters' film, Pecker.

  • Though one of contemporary art's most revered women artists, Sherman did not specifically self-align with the feminist movement of her generation.

"I feel I'm anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself...Sometimes I disappear."

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