Continuously surrounded by art, I write about my experiences and their influences on my artistic practices. I am a starving artist that spends every minute I can being exposed to as many types of art as possible.

Posts tagged “Cindy Sherman

2013: Another Year of Art

2013 was an interesting year for me.  I made many life changes and forged on with invisible gallery.  Accepting a job at a gallery, Ruiz-Healy Art, for half of the year, I have spent my time primarily fluctuating between working on RHA or invisible.  It has been a fascinating experience, learning from a commercial gallery many lessons I can apply to my artist run gallery.  While my schedule was a little more stable, I have tried to continue travelling as much as time and my finances would allow.  It felt like my travel had decreased dramatically, but after trying to recall my trips writing now, it seems I still traveled frequently.  While that also seems to be repeatedly to the same locations, I had a unique trip every time.  Since I mainly plan my travel around exhibits, art fairs, and temporary installations, it is easy for a fresh experience.

Me in 2013

Places I traveled to see art in 2013:

Houston: Picasso Black and White at MFAH in March, James Turrell at the MFAH in July, Houston Fine Art Fair in September, and the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in October,  Luc Tuymans’ Nice. at the Menil , and Houston Artcrawl Studio Tours in November

New Orleans, LA: Lifelike at NOMA (New Orlean Museum of Art) in January and went back to search for Banksy in the streets in October

Dallas: DMA (Dallas Museum of Art) in January and again to see Cindy Sherman in May

Ann Arbor, MI: UMMA (University of Michigan Museum of Art) in June

 

Art 2013

This year was primarily spent travelling around Texas, Houston being where I traveled the most.  While most of my travel this year has been much closer to home, the art I experienced was fantastic.  Not leaving the country this year did not lower the quality of art I saw.  The diversity in what I went to see was pretty extreme.  This year included many large scale installation and pieces from the James Turrell Retrospective and the permanent installation of Dan Flavin, Cindy Sherman’s huge photography, Louise Bourgeois and her large spider sculpture…the list goes on.  While none of these pieces were created this year, size seems to be the theme in what was being exhibited, either touring or displayed from a permanent collection.  Working on a large scale with my sculptures as well, it is always interesting to see art that influences your work.  I will always expose myself to as many different medias of art as is available to me.  Inspirations and ideas should come from all sources.  I am also interested in learning about themes or ideas that are different than my own, including the use of materials.  Art is a thought intensive process that I appreciate and enjoy experiencing greatly.  I am very fortunate that I have many friends that support this and often are the reason I can travel as much as I do.

Travel 2013

The top 5 posts read this year:

My 2nd year documenting my art experiences has continued to remind me of all the wonderful and exciting things that are waiting to be explored.  By continually exposing myself to new thoughts and ideas is how I keep growing.  As I open myself up to new experiences, I find many new opportunities arise.  At the end of this year I find myself in a much different place.  I am (currently) more stable, slowly pulling invisible together in a more secure direction, while trying to continue making my own art.  Personally, I have also been going through a divorce this year, another major change in my life.  Art has affected my life in various ways and I feel fortunate to feel so passionately about something.  My life takes a lot of planning and patience, as well as unpredictability and chance.  It’s a slightly crazy balance I don’t think everyone can handle, although I know plenty of people who happily do.  It is very difficult to juggle everything, but I feel a little lost when I don’t have several project going on.  Sometimes I wonder if I have a short attention span or just really that many ideas.  Although finishing several major projects to completion every year, I will go with I have that many ideas.  As I visual person, I work best with constantly new imagery to stimulate me.  As an artist that likes to discuss ideas of repetition and multiplicity, I notice people patterns everyday. New environments are just as exciting to me as new ideas.  This was another unpredictable year.  Only so much can be planned, the rest I figure out as I go along.

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Cindy Sherman comes to Texas

Enjoying seeing Cindy Sherman so much in New York, I was excited to be able to view her Retrospective again because it was coming to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA).  Of course, I did write about my experience with Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).  It had opened in Dallas in mid March, but I was way too busy to go then.  Although, having said that, I did make time to see Cy Twombly and Picasso in Houston in March.  Since I had known in advance, I was able to plan a good time to get out of town, get cheap bus tickets on Megabus, and my friend was able to get a free hotel room for a couple of nights.  I always want to get out of town to see art. Finally arriving at the exhibit, well, was not quite as exciting.  Not because I had already seen it, but the display didn’t seem as dynamic.  It was not a very dramatic display, in fact, it was a extremely safe.  Walking up, was an open room with a piece taken from different series, then that was mixed within a series of large photographic murals from 2011-2012.  This particular series is very different to me because Sherman doesn’t seem to be portraying a “type” here, she seems to be creating these characters out of her imagination.  I don’t Cindy Sherman Photographic Muralfind these personas particularly relate-able, but they are the most curious.   A juggler with short blond hair, wearing a nude body suit under a decorative leotard performing outfit, with knee socks and tennis shoes.  This gives Sherman a very boy-like, flat chested appearance.  Yet another image is also sporting the nude body suit, but this time a white corset costume made up with layers of fringe, reminding me of feathers, gold gloves going up to her elbows and maybe tap shoes.  This is a more feminine depiction than the previous, emphasizing the body, complete with a red bob cut.  Eventually, Sherman is “nude” in similar clothing, with breasts and pubic hair.  Still a different piece is created from an odd, almost knight/warrior looking outfit, with some type of made up looking crest, then is strangely paired with velour tiger striped pants with footies or socks.  This is the most of androgynous of the figures, with curly short hair and oversized baggy clothing.  These misfits seem like they don’t belong anywhere, maybe roaming around as a band of gypsies or with a carnival.  The background of these images are black and cream imagery of nature, I assume extremely photo-shopped photographs, as some have been altered to have a painterly quality while others remain more photographic looking.  The background imagery reminds me of the pattern in toile, or some other traditional image.  These pieces also differ from her other series as they are presented as site specific photographic murals that stick directly to the wall.  MOMA had them displayed as you walk to the exhibit as well, however, they were eighteen feet tall.  At the DMA, it was hard to tell the size, but approximately half that.  The scale changes the presentation greatly.  These fictitious characters should be much larger than life , their imaginary world should be an environment.  Combined with the generic decision to make a compilation of her work in the front room and place them among the murals was not a successful layout. My other concern with the display was that fact that it did not flow.  This was mainly due to the each gallery only having one door.  You walk in, you walk out, you walk past the same art in the hall again, you go to the next room.  I do hate directly comparing to MOMA, but the eleven galleries there led you to the next in a chronological experience through Sherman’s work, creating a continuity in the exhibit.  Discussing this after with my friend Jim, he said I am spoiled working with such a great Exhibition Director, Kathy Armstrong, at the Southwest School of Art.  It is true, I have learned a lot from her.  Paying close attention to the display of the work, I have seen walls built and removed, even creating a room when necessary.  I have experience from building a twelve foot wall in my studio, the DMA could have easily made some adjustments, as simple as adding an additional doorway to some of the rooms. Despite how I felt by the display of the work, ultimately, I was still pulled in by Sherman’s pieces.  Her work stands on Cindy Shermanit own, captivating me.  Most of the work on display is large scale, contrasting her first landmark series, Untitled Film Stills, 1977-1980, which is a collection of eight by ten inch black and white photos.  Immediately, I am drawn to Untitled #153, 1985.  Or as I refer to it, Dead.  The image is haunting, her lifeless body staring off with empty, open eyes.  Of course, this is my narrative.  As it stands untitled, there is no indication that this is a dead body.  It obviously isn’t, Sherman is alive and well.  But these are the implications of a wet body, covered in debris, laying on the muddy ground.  This piece in particular makes me want to know more.  What happened?  Who is she?  Is she dead?  Traumatized?  I want to know how this body ended up laying on the ground in some non-descrip location, very anonymous.  Even if this body is not supposed to be dead, this person certainly is not mentally present, looking far off into the distance, trying to think past what is happening now, possibly already empty and emotionally dead.  Engaging pieces like this are what is great about Sherman’s work and leaves you with more questions than answers. The description on the wall discusses how Sherman’s construction of the feminine is far from desirable.  This is notable in pieces such as Untitled #175, that I simply call Bulimic.  One of her many images she refers to as Grotesque, this work is composed mainly of half eaten Cindy Shermanfood and a pile of vomit.  The food is strewn around, as if hastily eaten and discarded, in a frenzy, as if on a binge.  In this series, Sherman begins to remove herself from the work, leaving only a glimpse or piece of herself, until ultimately removing herself for a period.  The only reference to Sherman in this piece is the look of self loathing on her face as it is reflected in a pair of sunglasses, also haphazardly thrown down in the middle of this moment of excess.  The piece still refers to feminine issues from a female perspective, even without the female form being the center of this image.  The Grotesque Series is unappealing, experimental, and often disgusting.  And I am very much drawn to them.  A glimpse, to an eye, then just a shadow, until Sherman is completely removed from the image.  Reading about this, Sherman felt she may be too dependent on her image and wanted to Cindy Shermansee if she could create the same type of narrative removing herself.  The results are a body of work that discusses what lies beyond the surface in a very physical, almost aggressive manner, creating what I would consider her more shocking work.  I have watched many people dismiss this work, barely glancing at it, possibly because it is so raw.  In these pieces, there is not the illusion of being fake or uncomfortable, as many of her subjects take on.  These take on a seemingly more honest approach as she confronts private, taboo topics.  Changing her props to vomit and a shit looking substance covering all but her eye, this series is not for the faint of heart.  While Sherman herself becomes absent, the use of her costumes such as wigs take over and the use of body parts from a medical catalog are used very sexual ways. The Centerfold Series is another controversial body of work by Sherman.  I did discuss this when I originally saw this exhibition in New York.  The work was commissioned, then rejected by Artforum, because it appeared too controversial.  The issue surrounding these works stemmed from the emotional states portrayed and were seen as women about to or that have already been victimized.  These women are all exposed in many ways.  Physically, they are laying down and closely cropped, confined into a tight box of charged mental states.  Emotionally, these women are staring off into the distance, not directly acknowledging the camera, as seen in other series such as the Head Shots or Socialites.  They are contemplating, daydreaming, or possibly scared.  The viewer becomes a voyeur to an intimate, vulnerable moment.  I find them haunting and chilling, the emotions feel so real to me.  Attracted by their displayed vulnerability as well as the fact that they are oblivious to the camera, the gaze, as they are caught up in their private thoughts with a public display of emotion.  Greatly differing from the often straight on look from a naked woman normally in this same position.  The format of the two page centerfold spread has long been associated with seduction, and displayed to be viewed by men.  While the imagery Sherman provides is a contradiction to that, they are still exposed, but in a much different way than the stereotypical centerfold tart.    As a series, this was the one I spent the most time with.  Despite the original controversy, Untitled #96, 1981 was sold in 2011 for $3.89 million, breaking records for the sale a single photograph.  That image displays a great use of color, with a young girl lost in thought staring off into the distance, holding a newspaper ad.

Cindy Sherman

Untitled #86, 1981

Fashion JunkySherman’s fashion series are parodies of the superficial world of clothing, name brands, and looks as a job.  Untitled #137, 1984 or Fashion Junky, to me touches upon well known drug use in these circles, both as a model to stay thin, but also to have a good time, the night life.  This “model” takes this further, looking strung out on heroin in expensive clothing.  Another reference I read was she looked like a victim of domestic violence, hair disheveled, with a blank look on her face.  Many critiques of Sherman’s work often and quickly discusses how many of the women seem to be victims.  Other images in this series are stiff and aggressive, or display very over done women, and include many variations of beauty.  As unflattering as these depictions are, quite a few designers and magazines have worked with Sherman, allowing her artistic vision to control the images. So why am I such a huge fan of Cindy Sherman?  Yes, it begins with her imagery, but goes much deeper than that.  It is impressive that she is the artist, model, stylist, makeup and hair artist, and photographer.  I can appreciate the hard work and vision of an auteur.  I talked earlier about a particular series of work I found unrelate-able.  Discussing this with someone, they laughed, and said they couldn’t relate to any of her characters.  I didn’t understand that.  We have all seen the femme fatale, the housewife, the model, the socialite, a clown, etc… In fact, that is the relate-able part to me, these figures exist in our lives.  Sherman is commenting on the plasticity and how malleable a persona actually is.  Often, I believe she is talking about what lies beneath the facade.  Most fairy tales are creepy.  While I didn’t discuss any imagery from that series (or several others), Sherman is capturing the essence of what is there, not just glossing over what is on the surface, often our only type of experiences and encounters with these women.  Ultimately, she is proving a person can be whom ever they choose.  None of these personas are her alter ego.  They are a compilation of the saturation of media Sherman has been exposed to all her life.  In fact, since her work doesn’t refer to anyone specific, they are “representations of representations” (Respini, Eva, Cindy Sherman. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012)


Figuring Out 2013 – Whatever That Means

Last year was crazy, unpredictable, and exciting!  All that without a full plan.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I work pretty hard at what I do, whatever that is, put myself out there , and accept most opportunities that I’m lucky enough to have come my way.  A new year to me means new opportunities and adventures.  I do not return to the same boring desk job after Christmas.  I get to plan my year out however I would like.  I am very lucky.

With that in mind, how do I begin to plan for the new year?  Some things are already on my calendar, such as Seven Minutes in Heaven (SMIH) 2013, which will be March 2, 2013, my first CAM studio tour on March 24, 2013, and the show I am curating at Alex Rubio’s gallery, R Gallery, of my five artists July 13, 2013.  That’s a lot to be excited about already, but doesn’t take up nearly enough of my calendar.  That means work to do and new opportunities to find.

Beginning January 1, Megabus put up travel through April, so travel is my next stage of planning.  My husband and I are heading to New Orleans in a week with friend, although we will be driving there.  Then I head to Dallas before the month is over for a music show with a friend.  Both trips include meetings with artists in SMIH and visits to the Museums of Art. Technically “pleasure” trips, work and art are, as usual, always included.  I know I will be in Austin for a music show in March, a few days after SMIH.  I know the West Austin Studio Tours are in April this year, and last year was so much fun, I won’t be missing that!  In May I will be heading back to Dallas for the Cindy Sherman exhibit.  That will be such an exciting trip!  I spent several hours in the exhibit at MOMA last March and look forward to doing that again.

http://hownottomakealivingasanartist.com/2012/03/22/cindy-sherman-at-moma/

I will also be in Detroit visiting someone very dear to me, I think in the beginning of June,  but I will be flying there.  However, it would be really easy to hop on the Megabus to Chicago.  I have visited both cities before, although not in quite a while. I was lucky enough to see Throbbing Gristle perform in Chicago a few years ago.  That was a pretty legendary show I was lucky enough to attend.  Detroit has some great art to visit such as the DIA, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, and cool galleries like CPOP.  In Chicago, there is the Art Institute, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit my friend, artist, Grayson Bagwell, currently attending Grad School at Columbia.  He is in SMIH this year.  I keep dragging him back to San Antonio to exhibit.  And I keep visiting him.  He used to live in Brooklyn, so of course I would pop up there.  When he attended Pratt he was fantastic enough to take me on a tour and to the Grad office.  It is the school with my dream program, a dual masters program in Art History and Information Sciences (Library Sciences).  They offer a summer program to study in Venice and do internships with the Met.  Their main campus is in Brooklyn, but their Art History campus is on Manhattan. It would be perfect since my husband is also interested in attending Grad School in New York, at the New School.  He is an experimental writer looking for an untraditional program.  Although with his high GPA and great references, I’m pretty sure he could get in anywhere.  It’s me I’m a little worried about.  My GPA is slightly lower due to not dropping a one class in time.  Really.  That killed my GPA for a few semesters.  I am now just thrown in the average pool.  Which is why I am hustling everyday, trying to build my resume and get my name out there so I stand out when I do apply.  I need scholarship money to live in New York.  Oh yes, please let me learn all about curating in New York!

And what about “work?”  I mean, I am always working, always glued to my phone or laptop, always attending art exhibits and meeting people.  What I really mean is paying work.  Regularly.  Money is a funny thing.  I swear I don’t live by it, but it sure does make my plans come together much more smoothly.  As of now, I don’t have anything scheduled until February.  January is always the slowest month for me work wise.  Everyone has already taken their vacations during December and won’t take time again until the summer.  It’s a little tough financially, but I always have a lot to do.  Last year I learned I better focus on SMIH or it definitely catches up with me all at once.  Not to mention I need to organize my life again.  Spring cleaning is serious business to me, after the whirlwind of my first open studio, the holidays, art events, and parties, I am completely disorganized.  My house and studio are normally a wreck.  So is my brain.  I will set up my calendar and travel, begin to work on my house so it no longer looks like a war zone, clean my studio, go back to yoga to relax my mind, oh, and breathe.  I have to be able to clear through some of these things before I can focus on my art again.

Being self employed is not for everyone.  You have to be a go-with-the-flow kind of person, which I am only sometimes, and have lots of confidence, which I do most of the time.  Inviting people you’ve never met before to work with you at a place/event they have never heard of (mainly out of town artists), you have to sound like you know what you’re doing, or they’re not interested.  Sometimes they’re not interested even when they do know you and what your doing.  Marketing to strangers.  Yes, I have definitely built up this skill in the last year.  Also fundraising.  I could not possibly afford everything I want to do, so I do need help.  I’m very fortunate to have people believe in me.  I have produced a few events now, worked with quite a few artists, and have had a good track record by showing up and supporting many artists and art events.  Believing I will make enough money by the end of the month to pay for my studio rent, my art supplies, and any art events/parties I am throwing.  That is the most go-with-the-flow-part.  Sometimes that gives me a huge headache, but again, I am learning to breathe and take it one day at a time.

I am excited to work on my art again.  I have several big projects that I am working on and now have the space to begin to put them together.  I have to be ready with my work for the studio tour in March.  Both displaying my older work and really putting in some time on my newer projects.  The studio tour is in about eleven weeks and I want to have something to show.  I have been fortunate to receive so many opportunities when I have shown I am serious about curating.  Who knows what will come up when I show I am interested in showing my art again.  The last few shows I have been in were invitational group shows, but I will be ready this year to exhibit some of the major projects I have been working on.

So I begin to prepare for the new year.  Whatever that means.


2012: Unpredictable and Exciting

This year has been exceptionally crazy and ambitious for me! I began 2012 by starting to write this blog. Not too sure what I was doing, my purpose was to document my self employment endeavors, encouraged by a friend. Looking back, the things I did this year amaze me. Five years ago, two years ago, or even just this past year, I could not have predicted the directions in which my career has been expanding. It’s an incredible feeling and I love the unexpected opportunities that constantly come up and having the ability to accept them.

me.

Places I traveled to see art in 2012:

  • Fort Worth: Caravaggio and his followers in Rome at The Kimbell, Jan; Lucian Freud at The Modern, September
  • Houston: Moody Gallery, CAMH, Jan; Ai Weiwei Zodiac Heads at Hermann Park, MFAH, CAMH, May; Houston Fine Art Fair, Silence at The Menil, September; Houston Artcrawl, November
  • Berlin: Gerhard Richter Panorama at Neue Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof (Museum of Contemporary Art), Berlinische Galerie, Judische Museum, March
  • Budapest: Marina Abramovich Eight Lessons On Emptiness, March
  • New York: Cindy Sherman Retrospective at MOMA; Georg Baselitz, David Lynch, David LaChapelle, & Frank Yamrus in Chelsea; March
  • Austin: West Austin Studio Tours, May; Hybrid Forms, Austin Museum of Art (AMOA), East Austin Studio Tours, November;
  • Marfa: Chinati Open House, October

2012 Art

I had a hard time listing them without going through my blog! That is the most travel I think I have ever completed in one year, ever in my entire life. But I hope it’s just the beginning. All of these trips have introduced me to new artists, new spaces, what is going on in the regional, national, and international art world, and best of all, amazing art. Ranging from major shows that have been written about to discovering many new wonderful artists that are local, I have spent the majority of this year seeing and absorbing as much art as possible. It has brought me much insight and inspiration.

My Travels 2012

However, I didn’t always have to travel out of town to see amazing art.

  • Andy Warhol, Fame and Misfortune at The McNay in April
  • Agosto Cuellar at Artpace in May
  • San Antonio Collects at SAMA in June
  • Governing Bodies at Gallery Nord in October
  • Franc-tober Fest at Bismark Gallery in October

Those are just a few of the highlights and a tiny portion of art that I viewed this year. I attended, as well, the majority of First Thursdays/Fridays, Second Fridays, and Second Saturdays. I would say 8-10 out of 12 monthly events of each. Then there are the additional shows at the numerous artist run spaces in San Antonio, I seem to meet new people/artists on a weekly basis. At least my pile of business cards, that I swear I will organize soon, keeps growing. The exhibitions I am hired to work at have not even been included. This year, that primarily consisted of the Southwest School of Art.

The end of the year brought a lot of mixed feelings for me. With my only regular part time job disappearing, I started to feel depression sinking in. Rejection is always difficult, and I am facing the fact that I don’t have another job lined up. The way I know I felt depressed was because when I would start to discuss all my ongoing projects (as I learned in my online class – never answer with just ‘I’ve been so busy’, be specific), it always ended with “and I don’t get paid for any of that.” I can’t say why I decided to be so revealing, I think some of the stress was starting to unnerve me. Apparently, I needed to vent and I’m glad that I did. The responses were amazing, such as being told that I’m doing a fantastic job, I’m doing things that nobody else is doing, and if I can financially afford to keep going, then do it. Overall, I received a positive response and people telling me they admire what I’m doing. I will always be the first to admit that I fall apart sometimes. The stress can be overwhelming, always believing in what you are doing and feeling confident you are heading in the right direction is not always easy. The trick is to learn how to deal with it, because it will not be ignored.

But I would not trade any of this for anything in the world. While those moods set in occasionally, I know I am the girl in the car dancing and singing as I drive to work most mornings. I have also had a few personal career triumphs this year as well. Seven Minutes in Heaven was quite an accomplishment for my first huge public event, I couldn’t have been happier. Getting my own studio space outside of my house for the first time is something I have been dreaming about for quite awhile now. Biding my time and being patient really paid off – a 1000 sf studio space is pretty fantastic! Shortly after getting my space, I went to the East Austin Studio Tours and the Houston Artcrawl. I couldn’t help notice that I had a larger space to work in than 80% of the studios I visited. Of course, you don’t need to have a huge space to create great art, but it sure is nice to have it! So, do I have anything to complain about? Absolutely not!! The more I think about getting depressed about not making money, I laugh. Who am I kidding? I have been working on installation art pieces that are NFS (not for sale). I really haven’t spent too much time or effort job searching or applying, I have too many projects that I have created on my own to work on. I work on my own terms, and for 70% of the work year, I answer only to myself. I get told regularly that I could do portraits when people see the graphite drawing I did of myself as a student. Yes, I could make some money doing that, but it doesn’t interest me. I am a very lucky girl to have the support of my husband for all of my crazy dreams.

I have also realized I have an interesting audience for my blog. Every single day I have readers from around the world. Of course, the US has the most views, but the list of other countries that have viewed my blog is pretty large, 73 different countries, in fact, since I have begun publishing. I started writing my blog in January, but officially publishing it just 6 months ago in June. My most viewed blog entry this year was about Cindy Sherman in New York, followed by Kreuzberg, Berlin, Chelsea, New York, and Agosto Cuellar, San Antonio.

Blogstats

Concluding my first year of trying to document, well, at least, something about what I do, has been quite interesting. Many things get easily forgotten when trying to write a self employed resume. Am I any closer to creating a good, representational resume? Probably not. But do I have a better grasp on what I am doing and getting better at setting my future goals? Absolutely! I still have no idea where I will end up, and that is half of the excitement. If life where all planned out for you, what would be the point of living it? I will enjoy where the ride leads me, trying to take in all I can. This year has lead me on some great adventures. I just try to take advantage of the opportunities presented to me that fit and so far, that has led me to a pretty happy life. The main lessons I have learned this year are planning ahead and just going for it. My instincts have led me to an interesting place that I know I have just begun to explore. I am so excited for the upcoming year!


Cindy Sherman at MOMA

Although just coming off a long trip, I could not pass an opportunity to stop in New York City to see amazing art.  The Cindy Sherman Retrospective at MOMA was my main goal and first stop.  It was amazing.  Her body of work is very extensive.  Each room led you through a new series that explored a different set of characters, discussing different ideas.  There was a great audio guide that included interviews with Sherman as well as the Curator of the show.  Displayed chronologically, Sherman’s work began as smaller pieces, all done on film.  As she trades this in for a digital format, her works increases in size.  Her last series of Society Portraits were larger than lifesize.  I have admired her work for a while, enjoying how Sherman is a chameleon of disguise.

An image from the rejected Centerfold series for ARTFORUM

The way the Centerfold series was originally intended to be viewed

I did not know that ARTFORUM had commissioned work from Sherman, but decided against printing the Centerfold series.  Shot in a typical centerfold magazine size and fashion, all of the women are shot from above, revealing vulnerability.  Apparently the editor felt the women had just gotten raped, to which Sherman responded that all of  her pieces are Untitled because she does not label them in any category.

 

 

 

Made up, overdone, and just finished… (for French Vogue)

More disdain in Chanel couture (for Pop Magazine)

Yet, French Vogue had no problem printing her series for them of over done, over partied satirical models in couture clothing.   I  love the French attitude!  She also did another designer shoot for Pop Magazine.  Here she is stiff and uncomfortable, playing a slave to fashion in Chanel.

She has the talent to create female characters that are women you can identify with and yet so over the top, you know you have never seen a woman like that before.  It feels awkward using the word “character” because these women all exist on their own.  I never once moved onto the next piece and thought “Here’s Cindy Sherman, now in a mullet.

 

 

Sherman as Caravaggio as Bacchus

Entering the Historical Portrait room,  I am immediately struck by the image of Cindy Sherman as Caravaggio’s Sick Bacchus.  It is interesting that just a few months earlier I was viewing the original in Fort Worth.  I already know that this is a self portrait of Caravaggio as Bacchus, the Roman name for the Greek God Dionysus, the god of wine, drunkenness, and ritual madness.  This is a portrait of Sherman as Caravaggio as Bacchus.  Sherman is placing herself in the male role of a god as well as turning an oil painting  into the current medium of photography.

 

Her series of portraits that all looked like they were done at Sears was fantastic!  It is her attention to the tiny details that make each woman an individual.

The originality that Sherman puts forth is fresh and exciting to look at.  As I continued through her immense show, every room left me wanting to know who she was going to become next.  I spent several hours wandering through this exhibit as well as the rest of the amazing permanent collection until I was kicked out at closing.

All photos were taken by me, from the Cindy Sherman MOMA Catalog.  Courtesy of J Maldonado.