As the first two creatives featured in the Artist Series were men (Francisco Goya and Hiro) I felt it was high time to introduce a lady. Cindy Sherman is an American, feminist photographer best known for her conceptual portraits made to look like film stills. Some of Sherman’s most compelling work involves her dressing up in elaborate costumes as different characters and taking portraits of herself. She has done several series’ of this nature including Bus Riders, Murder Mystery People, and Centerfolds. A lot of Sherman’s work is in black and white so we shot this look in a similar style. Here, I tried to capture the dramatic nature of some of her stills. She often imitates old movies, calling to attention the portrayal of women in film as weak and helpless. My photographer keenly noticed that some of her portraits are shot from below, a technique which I found very interesting. Here I’m imitating the kind of despondent look a woman might have in an old film when she’s overcome with “nerves” or “fright.” Sherman produced many images in this pose, another pointed commentary on the role of women in media. We re-created Sherman’s Film Still #13 in the MFA bookstore. I styled a black leather pencil skirt, white button down, and polka dotted head scarf to get that ’60s look. For her photographs Sherman transformed herself into all different types of characters, male, female, all different occupations. Sometimes this got her into trouble (ahem, blackface) but it did give her work an interesting look into the transformative power of a person. I often feel when I choose my outfit in the morning that I’m becoming a different character altogether. There’s a kind of power in knowing you can be anyone you want on a given day.
Shirt: H&M, Skirt: Primark, Shoes: TJ Maxx, Headscarf: Gifted
Photos by Stephanie Krist.