the photographer, artist and film-maker

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.”