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Cindy Sherman radically changes Contemporary Art Market

  • May 11, 2012 05:14

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Cindy Sherman Retrospective The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Cindy Sherman Film Still #48, 1979
Vanity Fair
Cindy Sherman Photograph She Calls A "Sketch"
NY Magazine

Cindy Sherman has a Career Retrospective at the Walker Art Center until February 17, 2013, which has received unanimous praise along with reassessment from Art Critics around the world.

Credit Cindy Sherman for changing the definition of Contemporary Art. For decades, Contemporary Art Collectors, Galleries and Auction Houses viewed Photography as if it was "not as important" as Contemporary Painting and Sculpture.

Cindy Sherman started her classic Untitled Film Stills series in 1977; she dressed herself in other people's lives and clothes, and documented the result. They seemed to make every woman the typecast star of her own film. 

Since then, she has photographed herself in female roles from a rotting corpse to a Renaissance queen. While Cindy Sherman has photographed herself in a variety of roles, including a young ingenue; centerfold portraits, history portraits; society women and even clowns, the photographs are not meant to be self-portraits.

“I’m more posing than I’m acting.” Cindy Sherman said to Ingrid Sishy. And the pose here is spot-on. In 1979, Sherman was driving across the country with her folks, and when she spotted this potential picture, she got them to stop the car. 

Thinking fast, she pulled her costume and wig out of her suitcase, in the trunk; her dad pressed the shutter, and voilà! One of the most unforgettable, iconic and covetted American images of the 20th century.

According to Ingrid Sischy, Cindy Sherman still has the skirt and the suitcase among her props in the studio. The progression of Sherman’s work happened organically. She explains, “One series turned into another series, and from that I got another idea for the next series.”

It was only a matter of time before Sherman took on History Portraits as an homage to Western Art, particularly the European tradition. She did not do it in a calculated or scholarly way—more like feasting from the buffet.

Cindy Sherman has created some of the most fascinating, provocative, and, at times, amusing photographs of the last 35 years, exploring and subverting images of women in cultures high and low, and always acts as her own stylist.

Cindy Sherman sees "humor in almost everything, in even the grotesque things, because I don't want people to believe in them as if they were documentary that really does show true horror." 


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Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd. Blog

Joseph K. Levene has 3 decades multifaceted art experience as art collector, art dealer, fine art executive and online art sales on Artsy, eBay, artnet, Printed-Editions, Bonanza, Saatchi and Sothebys.com. Visit JKLFA.com, 24/7 short-cut URL for blue-chip art at Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.

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