Glen Ridge, New Jersey 1954
I didn't want to make ‘high’ art, I had no interest in using paint, I wanted to find something that anyone could relate to without knowing about contemporary art. (C. Sherman, 2003)
Born on January 19 1954 at Glen Ridge, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City, but grew up at Huntington, Long Island, where the family moved shortly after she was born. She began to study art at State University College, Buffalo, but soon gave up painting for photography. With Robert Longo and Charles Clough she founded Hallwalls, an independent art space where she began to exhibit. After graduating (1976) she moved to New York and in her studio produced her first series of photographs: Untitled Film Stills (1977-80, Museum of Modern Art, New York), in which she personified female B-movie stereotypes from the fifties. The cycle of works best known and most highly appreciated after Untitled Film Stills is History Portraits of 1988-90, where Sherman for the first time used color to impersonate a series of historical characters or famous figures in paintings. In the same period her work also took a gruesome and grotesque turn, already obvious in the Disasters and Fairy Tales series (1985-89) and later fully developed in Sex Pictures (1992), in which mannequins and anatomical prostheses are photographed in explicitly sexual poses, and again in Horror Pictures (1994), a series inspired by the artist’s passion for the genre. Sherman drew on this macabre vein also for her movie Office Gunman (1997). A recipient in 1995 of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowships (or “Genius Awards”), Sherman gained popularity and in 1998 played herself in John Waters’ comedy Pecker . In her most recent series she again interpreted and authored her photographs, now portraying Californian career women against neutral backdrops. In 2003, finally, she produced the Clowns cycle, where the use of digital photography enabled her to create chromatically garish backdrops and montages of numerous characters. She lives and works in New York City.
13.12.09 | 05.04.10