Women in Art: Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer who took conceptual portraits to a whole new level (Fig. 1). She enrolled in Buffalo State College in 1972, and began her career in visual arts as a painter. However, this is the when she began experimenting with the creation different self-characters. She did this through the use of costumes and thrift store clothing. This began her use of photography and developing her style as a photographer. Her best known work is from a series called The Complete Untitled Film Stills (Fig. 2) which features average women in their average natural habitats, as heroines in their own story. This series communicates a powerful message and has been an inspiration to many artists.

I love how Sherman communicates many of her subjects in such a familiar way, as if we already know them well. Even today, looking at her portraits, they are so eccentric and kind of weird me out. But I guess that was the point: to make people sort of double-take and wonder what the heck she was thinking dressed up like that. Despite her photography being strange, I can somewhat see how her style has carried over to modern day photographers. People that are popular Instagram and Youtube have certainly taken inspiration from her work and it’s cool to see that cycle.


Figure 1: Untitled #359. 2000                                Untitled #213. 1989


Figure 2: Untitled Film Still #13. 1978         Untitled Film Still #81. 1980                 Untitled Film Still #65. 1980

Untitled #175. 1987

Doll Clothes (excerpt). 1975

Works Cited



One thought on “Women in Art: Cindy Sherman

  1. Mikaela,

    Nice to see you post the extra blog on Cindy Sherman who is an artist I have a great admiration for. Well done on all you posts this term. I believe I’ve given you your PK on Vermeer score but just in case it was 8/10. Your score on the final quiz was 35/50 which was a big improvement from the midterm. Still room for improvement though.
    Marks and comments on Assignment 5: Expressionist Portrait- 7/10, Impressionist Landscape- 6.5/10. The portrait looks unfinished, more like an under-painting. Would have benefited going over that cool blue tone with those warms you started to use in the shoulder and toque. The landscape also looks like an under-painting and could use much more colour and contrast to liven it up.
    Anyhow hope you have a great Christmas Break and see you in the NY.


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