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12 Dec 2010

Looking at Artists...

I’ve started to look at a few artist’s work to try and get some early ideas for Assignment 4 on Light. I remembered an artist I looked at a number of years ago for a different project and remembered a ‘film noir’ series of photographs by Cindy Sherman. This was her landmark 69 photograph series called the Complete Untitled Film Stills, (1977–1980), where Sherman photographed herself in a range of costumes portraying B-movie, foreign film and film noir style actresses.

Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits and has raised challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society. Although Sherman does not consider her work feminist, many of her photo-series, like the 1981 "Centerfolds," call attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines.

In this Untitled photograph we can see the model under lighting conditions that have created a lot of heavy shadows and contrast. The strong lines across the models face and upper body seem to suggest that she is hiding under the towel in a dark room and the light is spilling in from a window to left, outside of the frame.

In the mid 1980s, Sherman produced the horrific and often repulsive elements of fairy tale stories. She combines prosthetic and artificial body parts along with elaborate make-up to completely transform herself into embodiments of horror and nightmare. Again, there is high contrast lighting used in the series to accentuate features and create mood, however this style of wonder and macabre is (in my view) better delivered by Joshua Hoffine.

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