The Challenging Gender Roles In Cindy Sherman's Art

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Cindy Sherman Cindy Sherman is a photographer, whose career revolves around challenging the roles of the subjects depicted in her artwork and her role as the artist. She leaves the interpretation of each piece entirely to the viewers, which is why the majority of her work is titled “Untitled” (with the respective number after) and why she refuses to call her work “self portraits”. The lack of titles and description of her pieces force the viewer to analyze on their own terms and jump to their own conclusions without her interference as an artist. A lot of her work is centered around portraits of herself dressed up to represent a common stereotype or cliche. She uses elaborate costumes and makeup to create every unique character, giving each…show more content…
It depicts a deformed woman with a pig snout laying in a lifeless pose. As I browsed through her work, this photograph in particular caught my eye because it was part of a collection that was very different from the ones I had previously seen. This piece is part of Fairytales, and normally fairy-tales are supposed to be about happily-ever-afters and joy, but she turns it all around and creates this horrific image. The subject here clearly did not belong to the realm of princesses and magical godmothers, instead it’s dehumanized and reduced to an inferior creature and appears to have been slaughtered as such. The makeup Sherman used is very well applied and makes the photograph more convincing. When I discovered that she had applied all the make-up and prosthetics herself, as well as created the background setting, I was surprised in a good way. The piece not only shows her skill as a photographer, but also as a special effects makeup artist and model. It’s unusual, because normally photographers stand behind the camera while someone applies makeup to their model, and in Sherman’s case, she is all three at…show more content…
Cameras are supposed to capture reality, and Sherman seemed to defy that fact by producing something that was entirely unreal. The colors Sherman used in her composition also add a feeling of horror and darkness. There is a really blue-green light that highlights the character’s hair and makes the scene feel like we have just walked into the forest and the moonlight and found the corpse of a mutant. The light is placed in a way that conventionally portraits are not shot in, making it look unnatural and wrong. The greens and blues harshly contrast with the red on the character’s face, which is most likely blood, creating uneasiness. The subject is not looking at the viewer, and since there is no “real” connection to the living world, it’s easy to assume the character is

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