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Wednesday
Oct242012

Crusader of Truth

Cindy Sherman, the shape-shifting saint of cellulose, crusader of truth, equality, and one heck of a gal. Well, I managed to see the last day of her recent exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where I was totally taken and titillated by smiling swarms of viewers rather than the stuffy snobbery at your dime-a-dozen museum visit. While she is primarily a photographer, her giant color “self” portrait prints functioned much more like paintings, allowing her to transcend to the lofty ranks of conceptual artistry.

For the past thirty-some years she has been posing herself as characters from all throughout history in order to comment on any class or gender distention that make for a hearty, yet thought provoking guffaw. Her early series "Complete Untitiled Film-Stills" discussed stereotypical roles of women in film; from the film-noir Femme Fatale, to the Frenchy New Wave starlet, to the all American assertive cosmopolitan type. By using herself as a her sole model, she is able to have complete control of the entire scene that ranges from costume, composition, and the most tellingly subtle facial expressions. Since you know it's her every time, you’re forced to consider the roles we act out day to day.

But the buck doesn't stop there, folks. Once she started dipping into art history the laughs really start rolling. This is encouraged by reenacting some of the more ridiculous tropes of great master paintings like the gratuitous genre of virgin and child, or the bravado of Carravaggiowhere she dons a variety of costumes, make-up, and prosthesis.

Ms. Sherman’s masterfully humorous pieces of art can also shed light on the strangely normal lives of high-society women or our tabloid-minded media. So when the show hits your town, go have a look, a laugh, or a deep introspective epiphany.

As Morrissey so properly put it “now I know how Joan of Arc felt.”

 

 Metamorphosize the world

 

Cindy Sherman | Age 58 | Glen Ridge, NJ

While serving as a Fidel Castro double, cleverly averted a second Bay of Pigs invasion using a window squeegee and a jewel cassette tape. 

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