Best known for her series ‘Untitled Film Stills’, Cindy Sherman is a woman of many faces. She appears in most of her own work, but uses costume and make-up to depict anonymous women.
The Big Deal: Sherman presents characters for the camera to explore cliché female ‘types’ like “The Actress”, “The Sexy Librarian”, “The Damsel In Distress”. Though she is in the images, they are not really self-portraits because she is presenting an assumed identity, rather than her own personality.
Life In Brief: Born in New Jersey in 1954, Cindy Sherman doesn’t consider art as a profession until after high school when she attends Buffalo State University. Frustrated by the limitations of painting, she switches to photography during her freshman year.
Sherman moves to New York City in 1976 after graduation and begins photographing herself in various wigs and costumes. The photographs become her “Untitled Film Stills” series. In her later work, she will continue to use costume (as well as prosthesis) to recreate archetypal roles from art history.
Trivia Tidbit: Sherman directed the 1997 film Office Killer, starring Molly Ringwald.
Untitled Film Still #13, 1978
Untitled Film Still #153, 1985
Untitled Film Still #43, 1979
Untitled #424, 2004
Untitled Film Still #3, 1977
Untitled Film Still #58, 1980
Untitled Film Still #21, 1978
Untitled #92, 1981
Erika Jacobs is a Toronto-based freelance photographer and the co-creator of the Knock Twice blog, which is where a version of this post originally appeared. It's is an online resource to assist and inform budding creative professionals. You can visit Knock Twice here.