The Metropolitan Museum of Art is always a place of wonder and artful lust, where I get lost in the ideas of the artists and the story behind not only their work, but also the person themselves. The creative in question right now at the MOMA is Cindy Sherman.
Through my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues, I had heard a building buzz about the Sherman exhibit, so I decided to go and check it out. From photographers and designers, to writers and painters, the creatives of New York have been chit chatting about this exhibit for some time now, enthralled by her unique understanding and sort of strange images. “Strange” is something I think we all graze alluringly around, with curiosity and question. New York is filled with millions of weird people. But weird and strange are totally different. Strange to me has alluring connotations, whereas weird is well, just weird. Like the Eighth avenue crazy man who has almost run me over with his shopping cart numerous times. Anyways, back to the exhibit.
Cindy Sherman, an American artist, is widely noted as a highly influential artist in the world of contemporary art. Her work is an exploration of “contemporary identity and the nature of representation”, interpreted from imagery of modern cultures from film, television, the internet, and art history. Sherman is one of the few established artists who works on her images entirely alone, by acting as photographer, model, make up artist, hairdressers, stylist, and really everything she needs to be. Spanning the 30 years of her career, she creates images that are sometimes funny, sometimes questionably odd, and sometimes just all out strange. She creates a very wide range of images through her work, from film stars to elderly socialites, to some images I am not even sure I can categorize.
This exhibition of 170 + photographs explores themes and ideas that have been prevalent throughout Sherman’s career, exploring “artifice and fiction, cinema and performance, horror and the grotesque, myth, carnival, and fairytale, and gender and class identity.”
What I see in this collection is an artist begging her audience to understand individuality. Begging us to break down barriers and look beyond preconceived notions we have of anything different. Look beyond the clowns, beyond the socialite’s seeming demeanor – what I see is an exhibition that is crying out for equality in every way, shape, and form. I believe this exhibit is intended for us to not only question these stereotypes, but to also question ourselves and the ideas we have inherited, and/or have developed over time. Constructed to break female stereotypes, Sherman’s work goes about this in a very different manner. Noted for her solo work, Sherman is definitely a chameleon in her work, like I have never seen. She explores ideas and concepts with an idiosyncratic postmodern approach.
On exhibit at the MOMA through June 11th, 2012.