the photographer, artist and film-maker

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.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fine Tuning my Topic

I feel my topic is not too broad but perhaps a perfect length for my research paper.
I have found 3 books. One including all Sherman's Film Stills and a short 4-5 page biography.
Another book I have found includes Cindy Sherman as a Female Artist. Women Making Art, by editors Deborah Johnson and Wendy Oliver explains Sherman's Film Stills as a more of a contraversy. Chapter 5 is titled "Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills: Reproductive or Transgressive Mimicry? (1977-1981)" This Chapter includes a tiny biography and then explanations of some of Sherman's film stills.
My topic is not too boring or contraversial. I feel it will have good points on why Sherman was an artist even though some of her work was crude. I also feel that my audience will keep interest to find out what possessed Sherman to create this different film stills.
My paper may be one sided, but I will use quotes and paraphrase Sherman's friends and enemies on her work. I will use critiques to show both sides of the story and of her Film-Stills.

page 24

Pinpoint Audience

My topic will have a specific audience. Although my audience may range I will be addressing Cindy Sherman appreciators. I will inform individuals who want to learn more about Cindy Sherman, her basic biography. I will also include her successes and how she became a famous artist.

I figure that if the audience has studied art at all that they have heard about Cindy Sherman. The extent could possibly be little. Most art appreciators know that Cindy Sherman is a artist that became famous because of her self-portraits portraying women. Most people do not know her background and how she became who she is today.

I feel that my audience will be receptive because my topic is very interesting. I think that my audience will indulge in the new information they will obtain after reading my research paper. Cindy Sherman is a unique artist who will interest and astonish many different people.

My secondary audience will include photographers. I think this will be my secondary audience because even though Cindy Sherman was famous for her images, she was not considered a photographer but an artist.

Photographers may know less than artists about Cindy Sherman because photography is a more technical subject while art is a broader subject.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

expository v.s. persuasive

After picking my research topic I decided I would have to base my information off an expository or persuasive type paper. My subject being a person I felt that an expository paper would be most suitable for my research. My topic is Cindy Sherman, an artist well known for her self-portrait shots involving stereotypical characteristics of society. An expository research paper involves writing that explains to the audience who, what, when, why and how. I figured I could base my research off Sherman's present, past and future. After looking into my subject I found that I could even write some of my paper as an persuasive aspect but mostly expository. I could persuasade the audience that Sherman was a true artist even though she did not develop or take her own photos. After realizing this, I felt that keeping my paper as an expository would be most beneficial to the audience. I could explain exactly who Sherman is and then begin to persuade the audience that Sherman was indeed an artist and not just a snap shot photographer. I can summarize her life and then proceed into the pros and cons of her work. I feel that this plan will keep the audience interested in how and why she became who she is instead of confusing the audience that has no idea who Cindy Sherman is.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Jessica Naples

Professor Hanes

English 10002


What makes a good research paper?

1.) My topic, Cindy Sherman is an appropriate topic because of her famous artwork. My topic will be interesting because the individual I will study has had an interesting life. Cindy Sherman has led a life in and out of the art world and it will be interesting to see the differences.
2.) Cindy Sherman is a narrow subject because she is just one person. My audience will include art students, historical influenced artists, and even photographers. I also feel the average person would like to read about Cindy Sherman because she has had a great impact on our society and the roles we play as humans.
3.) My thesis will consist of why Cindy Sherman became famous and how. I may even explain the controversy of Sherman’s work within my paper.
4.) My evidence will come from individuals who have studied Sherman’s work and even may have known her personally. I will collect information from biographies written by authors who have factual backgrounds.
5.) I will use direct quotes from Cindy and individuals that have studied her work. I will paraphrase and cite the person who said it correctly.
6.) In my Works Cited, I will explain all the sources and throughout my paper I will give credit to those who deserve it.
7.)My organization of the paper will be quite simple. First I will start off with the history and background of Cindy Sherman. Then I will proceed into her life as an artist and how she became a famous female artist. Next I will discuss the end results of her success and how her work affected the world.
8.) Writing an expository essay will include much paraphrasing and direct quotation. I feel that I will bring my own thoughts into the paper by including what I felt was necessary about the artwork and who thought it was art or not art and why. I will also include my own language instead of direct quotation most of the time, unless it is needed to draw attention to the statement.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

First Source Summary

My first source is titled "Cindy Sherman" and contains essays and her collection of film stills. The essays are written by Peter Schjeldahl and Lisa Phillips. There is only a small section of history of Cindy Sherman located in the front of the book. I learned so far that Sherman was born in New Jersey and was a student at the State College University of New York in Buffalo. Cindy was one of five children. She was always busy and creative even as a young child. She always had to be doing something crafty while she did what other children would do. Cindy was fascinated with costumes, mirrors, and was very self-involved. These would be positive characteristics as Sherman would grow and find herself in the art world. Cindy had already produced one hundred thrity photographs of herself by age twenty-three. The photographs were self-portraits of Sherman. She used costumes to dress up in different situations that women played roles among. Sherman did not consider her work, "art photography," but rather just art. It is said that Sherman did not take most of the photos and that she only used a shutter cord in a few of her images. Sherman had friends and family take her photos for her and did not consider herself a profound photographer. Sherman developed her prints at corporate firms and did not process the film herself. Sherman is known for her early black and white film stills and her color photography later. Sherman was also known for her crude and pretenious photographs.