Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cindy Sherman - Conceptual Photography

Cindy Sherman is an artist who is primarily known for her visionary self-portraits in which she focuses on concepts rather than aesthetics. There are typically messages or social commentary behind each of her images, which she uses her body to convey. Her use of various costumes and distinct style, which contribute to her ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia, bewilderment, wonder or repulsion within her audiences, is unrivaled. Other photographers of her era were pointing the camera outward to capture and record the world, while she turned the lens on herself to metamorphose and truly show the world what she wanted to express.

What one immediately grasps when you look at her work is the strength and vision in each of her images. Creating iconic impressions in a physical form that depicted the stereotypical attitude that society had towards women in movies, magazines and other forms of media called attention to the unjust practices. There is an almost dream-like and personal quality about her work that makes me feel like I am the person taking the picture. When one looks at her pictures one is not truly seeing her, but the character she wishes to show you. There is an anonymous quality about her personally, where she actually becomes the subject. There is an intensity found in her eyes whether she is playing the part of a glitzy celebrity, sex-pot or even woman in death. I find her work to be somewhat of a pioneer for other forms of visual artists that have since followed.

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