Cindy Sherman
Photographer
Cindy Sherman
Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold.
Biography
Cindy Sherman's personal information overview.
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Roundup: Calling a culture strike, the 'Hollyweed' artist, the art market and Trump
LATimes - about 1 month
Some artists are calling for an inauguration day strike. But the art market seems OK with the advent of Trump. Plus: Preserving Middle Eastern photographic history, the “Hollyweed” artist, and the little red panda that is filled with rage.  — A group of artists and critics — including Cindy Sherman,...
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LATimes article
Artists and Critics Call for Culture ‘Strike’ on Inauguration Day
NYTimes - about 1 month
Artists like Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra and Joan Jonas are pushing for the closing of cultural institutions in protest of Donald J. Trump’s inaugural.
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NYTimes article
YES ON HHH - A Real Chance To Help The Homeless This November
Huffington Post - 4 months
Yes on HHH PSA from Rachel Fleischer on Vimeo. I never turn down an opportunity to speak about homelessness. Growing up in Los Angeles and being profoundly saddened by images of people living on the streets from a young age, my life and career have been largely devoted to helping raise awareness about the issue and do whatever I can to help homeless people. Despite the sweltering heat, being 8 months pregnant and turning down an opportunity to see the new Cindy Sherman exhibit with my very favorite relatives visiting from New York City, I knew I had to go to the panel. While there, and speaking with other filmmakers and activists I learned about Proposition HHH. I was amazed that as a woman who spent nearly 6 years of my life making a documentary film (Without A Home) about the homeless and being pretty politically active and engaged, I had never heard about this extraordinary proposition. I quickly came to learn that Proposition would allocate $1.2 billion towards perman ...
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Huffington Post article
Iconic Fashion for a Good Cause
NYTimes - 4 months
The resale site RE-SEE is putting clothing and accessories donated by Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Sherman and more on the block for charity.
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NYTimes article
Doin' Work: Flash Interviews With Contemporary Photographers: Vivienne Maricevic
Huffington Post - 5 months
Welcome back to Doin' Work: Flash Interviews With Contemporary Photographers. This is a place to celebrate the photographers who inspire me, and present you with an easily digestible bite of their personalities and work. This week's guest is Vivienne Maricevic. Maricevic is a fine-art photographer specializing in exploring aspects of erotica, sexuality, and gender. Since 1975 her lifetime mission has been photographing male nudes. The series "She Shoots Men" is motivated by the desire to reveal, challenge, and transform the imbalance between the frequent representation of the naked female form and the rarity of male nudity. It has led to more than three decades spent devoted to the unadorned male form. The recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Maricevic continues photographing the male nude in her new series "She Photographs Black Men." Some of what follows is NSFW. The artist at work, image courtesy Vivienne Maricevic Where do you live and work and ...
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Huffington Post article
The Irreverent Perfumer: Etienne de Swardt and Etat Libre d'Orange
Huffington Post - 5 months
Etienne de Swardt and Chandler Burr, photo by Vanni Bassetti Last year, at Pitti Fragranze in Florence, Chandler Burr ignited my passion for scent. This year, at the 14th edition of the world renowned fragrance fair, Etienne de Swardt made me fall in lust with perfume. Olfactory curator, former NY Times perfume critic, author and eighth art activist Burr was kind enough last year, when I attended my first Pitti Fragranze, to clarify that scent is a work of art. What I came away with was a quote that I now refer to every time I need to clear my head about perfume, smell and scent. Think of it as the written word equivalent of that little beaker of coffee beans one often finds at perfumeries around the world. Scent is something different from smell. Smell can invoke memories, like when you step into the Paris metro or off a plane in Bombay, but scent is an art form. And we lack the terminology to speak of it that way, we lack the right words but it doesn't mean it shouldn't b ...
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Huffington Post article
Martin Scorsese, Cindy Sherman to receive Japan's Praemium Imperiale award
LATimes - 5 months
Martin Scorsese will receive Japan’s highest cultural honor as he works to complete his latest film, the Japan-themed religious epic “Silence.” The filmmaker is set to receive the Praemium Imperiale in October for his lifetime contributions to cinema. Officials in Japan announced Tuesday that the...
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LATimes article
The Subversive Power Of Women's Laughter: Over 700 Women Artists Gather For A Historic Photo Event At Hauser Wirth And Schimmel
Huffington Post - 5 months
With photographs and video by Eric Minh Swenson The subversive power of women's laughter filled the outdoor courtyard of the new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art complex when over 700 women artists - along with women art professionals and some supportive men - gathered for Now Be Here , a photo event in DTLA, on a sunny Sunday on August 28th. Paul Schimmel and Catherine Opie Helen Pashgian (center) and Gisela Colon (right) The late-morning event was organized by artist Kim Schoenstadt and Aandrea Stang (head of education at HW&S) to celebrate the last week of the international gallery's groundbreaking thematic survey of 70 years of women's sculpture: major artworks using hands-on techniques and soft materials that broke new ground in sculpture. Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016 is the first exhibition to celebrate the contribution of legendary women sculptors who changed the history of sculpture and women's art. Photographers Isab ...
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Huffington Post article
The Story Of Lady Shalimar, A Self-Taught Artist Who Started Drawing At 70
Huffington Post - 6 months
Self-taught artist Lady Shalimar, born Frances Montague in 1906, adopted the name in the middle of her life, inspired by a brand of fancy perfume. The remainder of Shalimar’s life would similarly be dominated by an interest in fantasy and adornment, with every element of her being exaggerated, embellished and dripping in sparkles. For the last 20 years of her life, Montague made autobiographical artworks of her life at New York’s Healing Arts Initiative (HAI), decadent line drawings depicting what she believed to be her many accomplishments, punctuated with swells of watercolor and squiggles of glitter. In Montague’s drawings, she switches chameleon-like between roles as an opera singer, belly dancer, lion tamer and ballerina. Notes scribbled alongside the drawings designate particular locations, including the Moscow State Circus, the Canton China Peoples Theatre, and New York’s Diamond Horseshoe nightclub. And yet, according to HAI, Montague suffered from agoraphobia, a fear o ...
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Huffington Post article
Scene City: Christie Brinkley, Cindy Sherman and Chuck Close Party in the Hamptons
NYTimes - 6 months
Artists and collectors flock to Guild Hall’s summer gala, while a new benefit helps Asian elephants.
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NYTimes article
The Under-the-Radar French Museum That Quietly Predicts Art’s Next Big Thing
NYTimes - 8 months
Le Consortium, in Dijon, gave Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince their first solo shows — and continues, three decades later, to exhibit an eerie Midas touch.
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NYTimes article
Essential Arts & Culture: Tonys dedicated to Orlando shooting victims, Cindy Sherman at the Broad and the arrival of the Hammer's Made in L.A.
LATimes - 8 months
I’m Laurie Ochoa, arts and entertainment editor at the Los Angeles Times, filling in for the vacationing Carolina A. Miranda, and this is your weekly update on everything arts and culture in the Southland and beyond. Tony Awards: ‘Our hearts are heavy’ Sunday night’s Tony Awards were supposed to...
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LATimes article
Cindy Sherman Storms L.A.’s Broad: Iconic Artist Explains Her Hollywood State of Mind
Yahoo News - 8 months
In a rare interview, the icon explains her movie-minded process as her show, the Broad’s first single-artist retrospective, comes to Los Angeles.
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Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Cindy Sherman
    FIFTIES
  • 2013
    Age 59
    She received an honorary doctorate degree from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2013.
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    In 2013, Sherman was invited to organize a show within that year's Venice Biennale, including works by little-known artists as well as popular names such as George Condo, Robert Gober, Paul McCarthy, Charles Ray, and Rosemarie Trockel.
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  • 2012
    Age 58
    In 2012, she joined Yoko Ono and nearly 150 fellow artists in the founding of Artists Against Fracking, a group in opposition to hydraulic fracturing to remove gas from underground deposits.
    More Details Hide Details Sherman has been criticized for her early Bus Riders series (1976–2000). American Theatre critic Margo Jefferson has written, "African-American figures all have nearly the same features, too, while Ms. Sherman is able to give the white characters she impersonates a real range of skin tones and facial features. This didn't look like irony to me. It looked like a stale visual myth that was still in good working order."
    In 2012, Sherman was among the artists whose works were given as trophies to the filmmakers of winning pictures in the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival's jury competitions.
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    At the 10th anniversary Gala in the Garden at the Hammer Museum in 2012, Sherman was honored by actor Steve Martin.
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    In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art mounted “Cindy Sherman,” a show that chronicled Sherman's work from the mid-1970s on and include more than 170 photographs.
    More Details Hide Details The exhibition travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
    Based on a 32-page insert Sherman did for POP using vintage clothes from Chanel’s archive, a more recent series of large-scale pictures from 2012 depict outsized enigmatic female figures standing in striking isolation before ominous painterly landscapes the artist had photographed in Iceland during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and on the isle of Capri.
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    Her exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2012 also presented a photographic mural (2010–11) that represents the artist's first foray into transforming space through site-specific fictive environments.
    More Details Hide Details In the mural, Sherman transforms her face digitally, exaggerating her features through Photoshop by elongating her nose, narrowing her eyes, or creating smaller lips.
  • 2011
    Age 57
    In 2011, a print of Untitled #96, which depicts Sherman as a lovelorn woman clutching a personal ad while lying on a kitchen floor, fetched $3.89 million at Christie's, making it the most expensive photograph at that time.
    More Details Hide Details It was a part of an edition of 10 from 1981. Sherman has stayed with her original dealers Metro Pictures, the New York gallery that presented her first solo show in 1979, and Sprüth Magers, which has represented her in Europe since 1984. She sometimes has shown work with Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles, Rome, and Paris. Sherman's work is often credited as a major influence for contemporary portrait photographers. One such photographer is Ryan Trecartin, who manipulates themes of identity in his videos and photography. In April 2014, actor and artist James Franco exhibited a series of photographs at the Pace Gallery called New Film Stills, in which Franco restaged twenty-nine images from Sherman's Untitled Film Stills. The exhibit garnered mainly negative reviews, calling Franco's appropriations 'sophomoric,' 'sexist,' and embarrassingly clueless.'
  • 2010
    Age 56
    In 2010, Sherman’s nearly six foot tall chromogenic color print Untitled #153 (1985), featuring the artist as a mudcaked corpse, was sold by Phillips de Pury & Company for a record $2.7 million, near the $3 million high estimate.
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    In 2010, Sherman was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
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  • 2008
    Age 54
    Her 2008 series Society Pictures addresses the obsession with female youth and beauty in American society.
    More Details Hide Details However, Sherman does not consider her work or herself to be feminist, stating "The work is what it is and hopefully it's seen as feminist work, or feminist-advised work, but I'm not going to go around espousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff." In 1981, Sherman was artist-in-residence at the non-profit Light Work in Syracuse, New York. In 1995, she was the recipient of one of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowships, popularly known as the "Genius Awards." This fellowship grants $500,000 over five years, no strings attached, to important scholars in a wide range of fields, to encourage their future creative work. Among her awards are the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (1993); Wolfgang Hahn Prize (1997); Hasselblad Award (1999); Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts (2005); American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001); Jewish Museum’s Man Ray Award (2009); and the Roswitha Haftmann Prize (2012).
    She had a cameo role in John Waters' film Pecker, and also appeared in The Feature in 2008, starring ex-husband Michel Auder, which won a New Vision Award.
    More Details Hide Details Echoing similar grisly and gory elements as her Untitled Horror series, the film includes several artistically executed murder scenes. Office Killer grossed $37,446 and received generally poor reviews, which called the film "crude" and "laugh-free." Sherman's first solo show in New York was presented at a noncommercial space called the Kitchen in 1980. When the Metro Pictures Gallery opened later that year, Sherman's photographs were the first show. “Untitled Film Stills” were shown first at the non-profit gallery Artists Space where Sherman was working as a receptionist. Sherman has since participated in many international events, including SITE Santa Fe (2004); the Venice Biennale (1982, 1995); and five Whitney Biennials. In addition to numerous group exhibitions, Sherman's work was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1982), Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1987), Kunsthalle Basel (1991), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (1995), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1998), the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (2003), and Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin (2006), among others. Major traveling retrospectives of Sherman’s work have been organized by the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1996); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1997); and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark, and Jeu de Paume in Paris (2006–2007).
    For Balenciaga, Sherman created the six-image series Cindy Sherman: Untitled (Balenciaga) in 2008; they were first shown to the public in 2010.
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  • 2007
    Age 53
    From 2007 to 2011, she had a relationship with the artist David Byrne.
    More Details Hide Details Between 1991 and 2005, she lived in a fifth-floor co-op loft at 84 Mercer Street in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood; she later sold it to actor Hank Azaria. She bought two floors in a 10-story condo building overlooking the Hudson River in West Soho, and today uses one as her apartment and the other as her studio and office. Sherman long spent her summers in Catskill Mountains. In 2000, she bought songwriter Marvin Hamlisch's 4,200-square-foot house on .4 acre in Sag Harbor for $1.5 million. She later acquired a 19th-century home on a ten-acre waterfront property on Accabonac Harbor in East Hampton, New York. Sherman serves on the artistic advisory committee of the New York City-based Stephen Petronio Company. Along with David Byrne, she was a member of Portugal's Estoril Film Festival's jury in 2009.
  • 2006
    Age 52
    In 2006, she created a series of fashion advertisements for designer Marc Jacobs.
    More Details Hide Details The advertisements themselves were photographed by Juergen Teller and released as a monograph by Rizzoli.
  • FORTIES
  • 1997
    Age 43
    Her first film was Office Killer in 1997, starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Molly Ringwald and Carol Kane.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 40
    In 1994, she produced the Post Card Series for Comme des Garçons for the brand's autumn/winter 1994–95 collections in collaboration with Rei Kawakubo.
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  • 1993
    Age 39
    Sherman also created photographs for an editorial in Harper's Bazaar in 1993.
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  • 1989
    Age 35
    Between 1989 and 1990, Sherman made 35 large, color photographs restaging the settings of various European portrait paintings of the fifteenth through early 19th centuries.
    More Details Hide Details Under the title History Portraits Sherman photographed herself in costumes flanked with props and prosthetics portraying famous artistic figures of the past, like Raphael’s La Fornarina, Caravaggio’s Sick Bacchus and Judith Beheading Holofernes, or Jean Fouquet's Madonna of Melun. Sherman uses prosthetic limbs and mannequins to create her Sex Pictures series (1992). Hal Foster, an American art critic, describes Sherman’s Sex Pictures in his article Obscene, Abject, Traumatic as “in this scheme of things the impulse to erode the subject and to tear at the screen has driven Sherman … to her recent work, where it is obliterated by the gaze.” Moreover, Abigail Solomon- Godeau, a photo critic who taught art history at the University of California, illustrates Sherman’s work in Suitable for Framing: The Critical Recasting of Cindy Sherman. Solomon-Godeau writes, “Sherman's pictures have struck many viewers as centrally concerned with the problematics of femininity (as role, as image, as spectacle); more recent interpretation now finds them redolent with allusion to “our common humanity,” revealing “a progression through the deserts of human condition.” Reviewer Jerry Saltz told New York magazine that Sherman’s work is “fashioned from dismembered and recombined mannequins, some adorned with pubic hair, one posed with a tampon in vagina, another with sausages being excreted from vulva, this was anti-porn porn, the unsexiest sex pictures ever made, visions of feigning, fighting, perversion. … Today, I think of Cindy Sherman as an artist who only gets better.” Commentator Greg Fallis of Utata Tribal Photography describes Sherman’s Sex Pictures series and her work as follow: "the progression of her work reflects more than a progression of ideology.
  • 1985
    Age 31
    In Fairy Tales, 1985, and Disasters, 1986–1989, Cindy Sherman uses visible prostheses and mannequins for the first time. Provoked by the 1989 NEA funding controversy involving photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as the way Jeff Koons modeled his porn star wife in his "Made in Heaven" series, Sherman produced the Sex series in 1989.
    More Details Hide Details For once she removed herself from the shots, as these photographs featured pieced-together medical dummies in flagrante delicto.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1984
    Age 30
    Sherman married director Michel Auder in 1984, making her stepmother to Auder's daughter, Alexandra, and her half-sister Gaby Hoffmann. They divorced in 1999.
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  • 1982
    Age 28
    In 1982, Sherman began her Pink Robes series which includes Untitled #97, #98, #99 and #100.
    More Details Hide Details These self-portraits feature a pink chenille bathrobe which she is either holding or wearing. The slightly larger than life-size photographs were shot closeup so that the artist entirely fills the frame. Sherman has explained: ‘I was thinking of the idea of the centerfold model. The pictures were meant to look like a model just after she’d been photographed for a centerfold. They aren’t cropped, and I thought that I wouldn’t bother with make-up and wigs and just change the lighting and experiment while using the same means in each.’ The Pink Robes, stripped of all theatrical or cinematic references, present portraits which many critics have interpreted as revealing the ‘real’ Cindy Sherman. However this reading must take account of the several Cindy Shermans operating to produce the image, including Sherman-the-director, the lighting assistant, the photographer and the model. The artist’s concealment of her body and her direct gaze at the camera result in images which frustrate any desire on the viewer’s part for possession through visual knowledge, as is supplied, albeit in an illusory form, by a traditional centrefold photograph. The portraits depict a woman in a situation which implies vulnerability, but the decreasing light and Sherman’s increasingly hostile expression suggest that she protects herself by retreating into the dark shadows out of which she looks defiantly back at the viewer, refusing objectification. The large scale of the photographs confers an iconic power to these images of a woman resisting physical and psychological exploitation of the male gaze.
  • 1980
    Age 26
    It was with her series Rear Screen Projections, 1980, that Sherman switched from black-and-white to color and to clearly larger formats.
    More Details Hide Details Centerfolds/Horizontals, 1981, are inspired by the center spreads in fashion and pornographic magazines. The twelve (24 by 48 inches) photographs were initially commissioned — but not used — by Artforum's Editor in Chief Ingrid Sischy for an artist's section in the magazine. Close-cropped and close up, they portray young women in various roles, from a sultry seductress to a frightened, vulnerable victim who might have just been raped. She poses either on the floor or in bed, usually recumbent and often supine. Due to the artist's proximity to the camera and to the larger-than-life scale she assumes in the prints, her corporeal presence is emphasized. About her aims with the self-portraits, Sherman has said: "Some of them I'd hope would seem very psychological. While I'm working I might feel as tormented as the person I'm portraying.”
    She eventually completed the series in 1980, stopping, she has explained, when she ran out of clichés.
    More Details Hide Details In December 1995, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired all sixty-nine black-and-white photographs in Sherman's Untitled Film Stills series for an estimated $1 million. In addition to her film stills, Sherman has appropriated a number of other visual forms— the centerfold, fashion photograph, historical portrait, and soft-core sex image. These and other series, like the 1980s Fairy Tales and Disasters sequence, were shown for the first time at the Metro Pictures Gallery in New York City. During the 1980s Sherman began to use colour film, to exhibit very large prints, and to concentrate more on lighting and facial expression.
  • 1977
    Age 23
    The series Untitled Film Stills, 1977–1980, with which Cindy Sherman achieved international recognition, consists of 69 black-and-white photographs.
    More Details Hide Details The artist poses in different roles and settings (streets, yards, pools, beaches, and interiors), producing a result reminiscent of stills typical of Italian neorealism or American film noir of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. She avoided putting titles on the images to preserve their ambiguity. Modest in scale compared to Sherman’s later cibachrome photographs, they are all 8 1/2 by 11 inches, each displayed in identical, simple black frames. Sherman used her own possessions as props, or sometimes borrowed, as in Untitled Film Still #11 in which the doggy pillow belongs to a friend. The shots were also largely taken in her own apartment. The Untitled Film Stills fall into several distinct groups:
  • TEENAGE
  • 1974
    Age 20
    In 1974, together with Longo, Charles Clough and Nancy Dwyer, she created Hallwalls, an arts center intended as a space that would accommodate artists from diverse backgrounds.
    More Details Hide Details Sherman was also exposed to the contemporary art exhibited at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the two Buffalo campuses of the SUNY school system, Media Studies Buffalo, and the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts, and Artpark, in nearby Lewiston, N.Y. It was in Buffalo that Sherman encountered the photo-based Conceptual works of artists Hannah Wilke, Eleanor Antin, and Adrian Piper. Along with artists like Laurie Simmons, Louise Lawler, and Barbara Kruger, Sherman is considered to be part of the Pictures Generation. Sherman works in series, typically photographing herself in a range of costumes. To create her photographs, Sherman shoots alone in her studio, assuming multiple roles as author, director, make-up artist, hairstylist, wardrobe mistress, and model. Bus Riders (1976–2000) is a series of photographs that feature the artist as a variety of meticulously observed characters. The photographs were shot in 1976 for the Bus Authority for display on a bus.. Sherman uses costumes and make-up to transform her identity for each image, the cutout characters were lined up along the bus's advertising strip. Other early works involved cutout figures, such as the Murder Mystery and Play of Selves.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1954
    Age 0
    Born on January 19, 1954.
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