the photographer, artist and film-maker

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cindy "scary" Sherman creates Fairytales

These are some photos from her later work
Warning: This aren't like anything you've seen before!

Where'd that pretty girl go?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

author's note

My paper on Cindy Sherman has many strengths and weaknesses. Although written to be more expository than persuasive, I feel that I should have more opinions of the artist from other people within my paper. I hope that throughout the audience will gain a clear understanding of the artist. I know that my topic has many different works that can be hard to explain, so I also hope that the reader can visually see the work from a description.
The weaknesses of my paper include not having enough of my sources throughout. I found that one source was very helpful and I ended up using a lot of the information within the paper. I feel that I need to broaden and use other sources for more expansion of information.
Within my paper, I include quotes directly from Cindy Sherman. I feel that this gives a more personal level for the audience to connect to. I also explain her works in chronological order so it is easier to comprehend the changes of her art throughout time.
This is more than a biography, this is an explanation of Cindy and her art, her life and how she affected the world.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

helpful links
Artists of the 80's
Photography Review by Elsa Dorfman
Tate Magazine Interview with Cindy Sherman

color prints (rear-screen projections)

Cindy switched to color in 1980-1981 these photographs apart of The Rear-Screen Projections.
Cindy uses the technique to look like she was on location without actually having to be at that location.
This is in fact why the backgrounds of many of her images look very unreal.
Mainly, because, they are.
Cindy uses Color and Background slides to achieve this look.

Untitled #66 (1980)

Technical problems happened during this image; i.e. the bleeding edge around the image was produced by the lightning.

a bit of an expert...

Cindy Sherman based her photos off of horror films, and B-movie actresses. Sherman titles these portraits “Untitled” therefore the images lose reference to her as an individual.

Here are links for more of Cindy Sherman’s artwork:

Cindy Sherman confused many individuals and while some thought she was taking these portraits to promote sex, she was really just trying to make a statement.

Cindy Sherman said, “I wonder how it is that I’m fooling so many people, I’m doing one of the most stupid things in the world…and people seem to be falling for it.”

Timeline of Cindy’s Images
Untitled A-E: 1975 (First Untitled Series)
Untitled Film Stills: 1977-88 (Famous Untitled Black and White Stills)
Rear-Screen Projections: 1980-81
Centerfolds: 1981 ( Color Images )
Pink Robes (aka Red Robes): 1982
Fashion: 1983, 1984, 1993, 1994
Fairy Tales: 1985
Disasters: 1986-89
History Portraits: 1989-90
Sex Pictures: 1992
Horror and Surrealist Pictures: 1994-96
Office Killer: 1997 (Film)
Black and White work from 1999

Sherman also produced the movie “Office Killer” in 1997. Cindy has changed contemporary art. She continues to do so as an artist, photographer and film director.
Cindy was not that artistic as a child and developed a fond love for art while a young adult. Sherman was obsessed with make-believe and playing dress-up. Television also affected Sherman. Sherman learned much about identities and different roles our society created involving women.
Sherman wanted to study in New York City but her parents felt it was too dangerous and she attended Buffalo State University for art. Sherman even failed her first photography class and stuck to her major of painting for the time being. Sherman then focused on performance art.
Sherman decides to take the basic course again and realized that the concept of a good photograph is more important than perfect prints.
Sherman becomes obsessed with thrift-store clothing and starts to make up fictional characters that the clothing used to belong to. And so her Untitled Film Stills appear.
After Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills she is inspired to start the Rear-Screen Projections (1980-1981). Two characteristics dominant the Rear-Screen Projections: background and color. Sherman uses an effect to make the images look like they were taken outdoors, such as the rear-screen projector had done. Sherman uses slides to project different locations behind her. This shows the falseness of color and content within the photo. Sherman was not trying to trick anyone, she was merely using a technique to make her photos look a certain way.
Artform wanted a centerfold of Cindy Sherman, but then the editor rejected the images because he felt that the reader would mistake them for real centerfolds.

Cindy does not title any of her images on purpose. She wants the viewer to interpret his or her views without being thought to think.
Cindy also depicts scary, gruesome images. Fairy tales, include a gothic land of barbaric creatures and lets one think for themselves about the image.
Quotes from Cindy Sherman reguarding Fairy tales:
“No matter how much people try and clean up violence in fairy tales, it remains what children like best.”
“The world is so drawn towards beauty that I became interested in things that are normally considered grotesque or ugly, seeing them as more fascinating than beautiful.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Topic: Cindy Sherman

I. Introduction
A.Quote opening from Sherman (“I didn't have any interest in traditional art.”)
Thesis Sentence (Cindy Sherman provoked new ideas into the art-world and gave inspiration to other female artists…)
Main Points ( Who is Cindy Sherman, Why is she important? )
Transition of childhood into first paragraph of beginning of her life

II. First Point ( Childhood of Cindy Sherman )
Beginning of life
Childhood, early adulthood, events etc.
Background information of artist

III. Second Point ( Cindy Sherman into Adulthood )
Cindy Sherman and her art
Cindy in College
Cindy’s big break
Photography V.S. Painting
How Cindy became a successful artist?
What made her art such a controversy?
Who did this art affect?
Why did her art impact the world?

IV. Third Point ( Cindy Sherman Becomes famous artist)
How did Cindy become such an idolized artist?
What did Cindy Sherman feel about her fame?
What did others think about Cindy?
Where is Cindy now?

V. Conclusion
Topic Sentence (Bring all information together)
Summary of first point (Cindy’s childhood impacted/did not impact her career..)
Summary of second point (Cindy’s famous work…)
Summary of third point (After her art became popular, Cindy…)
Conclusion (Tie all three main points together to balance end sentences)

illustrations of Cindy's work

Cindy Sherman is famous for her "Untitled Film Stills." Below are examples of some of her work:

Untitled Film Still #10

Untitled Film Still # 21

Untitled Film Still #48

For more of Cindy's Untitled Film Still collection

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


One interesting fact that I learned while studying Cindy Sherman is that she did not take most of her photos. Many people classify Sherman as a photographer when she doesn't really take most of her work. Sherman said, "The only reason I do not call myself a photographer is that I don't think other people who consider themselves photographers would think I'm one of them."
Cindy had creativity. She used this tool to imagine different ideas that could be captured by film. In her untitled film stills, cindy used a string to pull the camera to expose an image. Her father also took one of the stills of his daughter. Cindy's friends took some and others.

Cindy did not think that she should be recognized as a photographer but rather as an artist. For what she created was an image, but an image used to portray something else other than herself. Even though these images were created with Cindy as the model, they did not entile Cindy as a person. Her face in all the images, as different women, as different eyes.

research thus far

My research is coming along for my research paper. I have found that Cindy Sherman is quite a narrow subject and it is hard to find many biography books in the library. I found one book that is of much help and also includes many of Sherman's film stills. The biography is short and sweet but it does tell me a lot of background information that cannot be found anywhere else. I also have picked up a book that talks about female artists and focuses on Cindy's Untitled Film Stills. I am hoping that this book will give another viewpoint on Sherman's work.

Last weekend I purchased The Essential: Cindy Sherman which will help my research tremendously. The books starts from her birth to her most current works of art. The book includes lots of quotes from Cindy herself and also some quotes from other people.
The books also talks about Cindy's work as an artist and how she grew. Cindy's life seems quite interesting from the book and I cannot wait to explore it more.
I am also looking up journal articles on Sherman. I have found 2 so far and need 2 more to fulfill my article requirements. I think these articles will help form an opinion of Cindy Sherman from the public and the art world.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Cindy Sherman provoked new ideas into the art-world and gave inspiration to other female artists.

Monday, February 13, 2006

peer review: biography

Our first peer review was to critique another's biography paper. I read Mark Wagner's and Chris Loos's biography papers. Here is the input I gave each of them individuality.

Mark Wagner
His biography was written about me. It was interesting to read but it was also a little mis-guided. I felt he used a lot of describing adjectives which can sometimes turn an expository paper bias. I felt he was trying to make the paper more colorful and descriptive but perhaps took it over board. He also made a few punctuation mistakes and spelling errors probably from being in a hurry and not looking over his draft before he printed it. I also felt that he had some unnecessary clauses and phrases that were of no importance and that just added length. Mark had great use of complex grammar throughout the paper. I was a little frazzled at the beginning of Mark's paper because his first paragraph took up most of the first page. I felt that he needed to have a proper introduction and conclusion instead of just starting the story with my name and birthday. He started too early with who I was exactly and I felt the reader would be bored by the time they reached the second paragraph. Mark's paper needed minor changes, but overall I felt he did a nice job capturing my life onto a few sheets of paper.

Chris Loos
Chris wrote a biography on Mark Wagner. Chris started his paper off with a simple introduction. I felt that maybe he could have made it more interesting rather than saying, "Mark Wagner was born on.." I think that Chris could have used his imagination to create a more bold opening. Chris had few punctuation and spelling mistakes. I felt that many of Chris's sentences were too simple and broad. I also felt he could have used better word choices for a lot of his words. I felt that Chris needed to connect sentences together rather than just having two simple sentences for more complexity within his paper. His paragraphs needed to be fuller. For example, in the paragraph including the hobbies of Mark, Chris writes two simple sentences about Mark's interest in cooking and reading. I felt that he could have included his favorite dishes, books or why he was so interested in those subjects. Chris needed more explanation in some of his paragraphs about Mark. Chris also included a sentence in first person, "I asked him..," I felt this sentence was unnecessary when writing a biography. The conclusion was too abrupt and needed more clarity.

Peer Review of My Paper

Mark gave me positive input about my biography paper on Chris. Although I may have confused him in the beginning of my paper. My conclusion and transition need work, and I feel that he didn't know what to think after reading the first paragraph. Mark made corrections on my paper and crossed out unnecessary phrases I had used. He also gave me new ideas to different ways of phrasing a point to the audience.

Chris informed me that I accurately described his life. He said my biography was well-written. He corrected his father's name on my paper from Allan to Alan. Chris did not mark up my paper drastically whether he felt it did not need anything or he did not see anything wrong. I wish Chris would have given more input to my paper because it was about his life. I wish he could have informed me of his opinion of the introduction and the conclusion.