Cindy Sherman

This is an interesting artist, Cindy Sherman is an American photographer / artist who uses herself as a model to take images that replicate poses and situations of women in films.

My initial thought was it reminded me of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, in the message she is trying to get across. She is commenting on how women are portrayed in the media and in films. However, in reading some of her interviews, I wonder if her response is more personal. She states her mother was older and she looked to media and films for role models in her formative years, perhaps this is how she realised that their portrayal is often not reality and felt the need to comment on it.

Who was your role model growing up?

To a certain extent, it was just women I’d see in the media, actresses in movies, mums on TV, women in magazines or the Sears, Roebuck catalogue. My mother was too, I suppose, but she was an older mum when she had me, so I think I really looked to the younger women in the media.

Tate. (2019). Getting to know Cindy Sherman – Interview | Tate. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Dec. 2019].

This extract from the ‘Getting to Know Cindy Sherman’ interview seems to contradict her work in some ways. If these women were indeed her role models, why does she now wish to highlight their depiction as vulnerable and fake. Did they not live up to her expectations? Did they in some way let her down?

The context of images is not immediately apparent without reading the narrative that goes along with them. For me the parodying of images that she also considered to be fake, just accentuating the fakeness of them, which I suppose is what she’s trying to do, still does not show the reality. for me showing women as they really are, juxtaposed to these images could be powerful. Is she scared of the real her?