Cameron, Julia M.
Coburn, Alvin L.
Talbot,William H. Fox
Biography: in full - CYNTHIA MORRIS SHERMAN. American
photographer, known for her images--particularly her elaborately
"disguised" self-portraits--that comment on social role-playing
and sexual stereotypes.
Sherman grew up on Long Island, New York. In 1972 she enrolled
at the State University College at Buffalo and majored in painting,
later switching her major to photography. She graduated from the
State University College at Buffalo in 1976 and in 1977 began
work on Untitled Film Stills (1977-80), one of her best-known
series. The series of 8 10-inch black-and-white photographs featuring
Sherman herself in a variety of roles is reminiscent of film noir
and presents viewers with an ambiguous portrayal of women as sex
objects. Sherman stated that the series was "about the fakeness
of role-playing as well as contempt for the domineering 'male'
audience who would mistakenly read the images as sexy." She
continued to be the model in her photographs, donning wigs and
costumes to challenge cultural stereotypes.
During the 1980s Sherman began to use colour film, to exhibit
very large prints, and to concentrate more on lighting and facial
expression. Using prosthetic appendages and liberal amounts of
makeup, Sherman moved into the realm of the grotesque and the
sinister with photographs that featured mutilated bodies and reflected
such concerns as eating disorders, insanity, and death. Her work
became less ambiguous, focusing perhaps more on the results of
society's acceptance of stereotyped roles for women than upon
the roles themselves. During the 1990s Sherman returned to ironic
commentary upon clichéd female identities, introducing mannequins
to some of her photographs. In 1997 she directed the dark comedy
film Office Killer. She followed this in 1999 with an exhibition
of disturbing images of savaged dolls and doll parts that extended
her interest in juxtaposing violence and artificiality. (Encyclopedia
More on Cindy Sherman:
Sherman - Her Masquerade
'Excellent site, Featuring Several of Sherman's Images.
Grey Art Gallery - Cindy Sherman
Wonderful Presentation of Sherman's work.
(click on Sherman at top of page to view work)
Collection of Sherman's Images
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