Above/featured: Untitled #586 (2016/2018).
In 2016, Cindy Sherman was commissioned by the celebrated fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar to create a new series of photographs for publication. Responding to that commission, Sherman photographed herself wearing outfits by Prada, J.W. Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Gucci, and Chanel. She augmented these costumes with make-up, wigs, and digitally created backgrounds to create invented characters, based on so-called street-style stars. Her photographs gently lampoon a contemporary trend associated with fashion shows, which are attended by individuals whose ostentatious dress and exaggerated behaviour rival the main spectacle for attention. Nick-naming the phenomenon ‘project twirl’, Sherman explained: “I just loved the description of these people, these characters who go to the fashion shows – and twirl.”
Sherman’s collaborations with fashion are long-standing. Since 1983, she has worked with Dianne Benson, Dorothée Bis, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ (for the first time, in 1993), Comme des Garçons, ‘Vogue Paris’, and ‘Garage’ magazine. Characteristically, her fashion photographs mock the self-regard associated with haute-couture. However, they have further significance shared with her work as a whole. Sherman observed: “I want there to be hints of narrative everywhere in the image so that people can make up their own stories about them.”
Organized by the National Portrait Gallery London, the current exhibition surveys the work of Cindy Sherman (born 1954), one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Using make-up, wigs, costumes, and other means to transform her appearance, Sherman photographs herself acting out the roles of numerous fictional characters. Her images of these personae incorporate references to modern cultures, notably cinema, television, magazines, and fashion. By creating enigmatic appearances from various sources, her work critiques our image-saturated society and raises questions about the meanings we assign to the things we see.
• Cindy Sherman: ‘I enjoy doing the really difficult things that people can’t buy’ – Sean O’Hagan, The Observer (Guardian), 8 Jun 2019.
• Cindy Sherman review – pain-laced portraits of a shapeshifting enigma (NPG London) – Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 25 Jun 2019.
I made the photo above on 26 Oct 2019 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime (18.5/28) and the following settings: 1/40-sec, f/3.6, and ISO3200. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-fTa.