New Jersey, USA, 1954
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“I wish I could treat every day as Halloween, and get dressed up and go out into the world as some eccentric character.” — Cindy Sherman.
Throughout her prolific career, Cindy Sherman (b. USA, 1954) explored identity and gender roles through her photography, becoming one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. At only 23 years old, Sherman produced her Untitled Film Stills (1977–80), where she photographed herself portraying fictional stereotypical characters in various settings inspired by 50’s and 60’s Hollywood, B movies, film noir, and European art-house films. Even though the 70 Untitled Film Stills remain her best-known works, Sherman continued to transform herself and her art by studying diverse human types and stereotypes in her images.
In 1995, MoMA bought the entire seminal series from the artist, and presented a solo exhibition dedicated to it two years later. “She’s undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of our time,” said Eva Respini, the associate curator of photography at MoMA who organized Sherman’s retrospective in 2012.
Witty, provocative, and searching, Sherman’s images have become some of the most valuable photographs ever produced. By manipulating viewers and recasting her own identity, Sherman carved out a new place for photography in fine art.