Beginning February 26, Cindy Sherman, artist of several million faces, receives her “long time coming” MoMA retrospective. The museum will explore 35 years of the Queen Supreme of pomo photography’s body of work. In atypical fashion, her works will be grouped together to inform and explore unifying themes, rather than shown in sequential order. In other words: Cindy Sherman’s mug will be everywhere. All up in that piece. Her face will literally be all over that museum because, in Sherman’s work, Sherman does it all – she plays the roles of photographer, model, art director, make-up artist, hairdresser and stylist. The crux is she never looks the same, and therein lies the brilliance of her work. We’re both exhausted and lonely just thinking about her artistic process.
Sherman’s oeuvre is simultaneously hilarious and a tragic. In transforming her own image into recognizable likenesses, she shines light on cultural clichés of our societal imagery. Over and over again Sherman’s characters feel familiar but are never someone you’ve actually seen – through this process she exposes the stereotypes produced by an image-saturated culture. When looking at Sherman’s pieces, she makes us feel as though we recognize her subject although they are all her and all imaginary. Trippy.
As she takes on many roles in her work, she also takes on many angles – at once exploring, celebrating, criticizing and rejecting her themes, which span many spectrums. Her work ranges across the fashion industry, to 50s and 60s movie stars, to aspiring actors/has beens, to characters from period-specific paintings, and everyone you’ve never ever met in between – always awesome, always thought-provoking, and always weird. Of course we’ll be there.
February 26–June 11, 2012, The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St., NY 10019, tel 212-708-9400 MoMA.org