The photographs of Cindy Sherman, one of the pioneers of the staged photography genre, operate in relation to received conventions of representing women in Western culture - in painting, and especially in film and in the media. Sherman, who embodies most of the characters in her photographs, assumes a range of female identities by means of makeup, clothing, wigs and various bodily postures. By portraying different myths of femininity, Sherman reveals the inability to speak about an "authentic self" which is not determined by the set of cultural images it is surrounded by.
In the works Untitled #97-100, Sherman appears as the model in a "double spread" for a pornographic magazine, moments after the completion of a nude photography session. Sherman, who appears covering her body with a towel, as if to defend herself against the viewer's gaze, reflects this character's emotional state through the symbolic use of lighting, which becomes darker and gloomier in every successive photograph. Sherman uses the stereotype of the woman subjected to the male gaze in order to expose the exploitative relations this scene is predicated upon, as well as its psychological complexity.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, 1954; lives and works in New York