Cindy Sherman, A Retrospective At The Dallas Museum of Art

Cindy Sherman, A Retrospective | The Dallas Museum of Art
Cindy Sherman

The Cindy Sherman exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art was extremely fascinating and interesting. I liked how she not only used the image content to convey her messages; she also cleverly used the size of the photographs to speak to us. The massive larger-than-life photos gave me the sense of her characters’ egos. I also found it very interesting how she was not only the photographer but also the model/character in all of her photos.

With her creative use of makeup, costumes, postures, expressions, and digital manipulation she turned herself into many unique personalities. What I found most striking about that was how each character look so different that it was very difficult if not impossible to identify the real Cindy Sherman each of them. By her taking on so many different characters so well it appears that she is trying to tell us that it is virtually impossible to see the real person beneath all the different facades people wear.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #466
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #466

The photo that struck me the most was Untitled #466. It’s an extremely large photo of Cindy Sherman dressed as what appears to be an aristocrat from Latin America. That is how I interpreted the photo. In the photo, she is wearing a long fancy caftan with lots of jewelry and her hands and ears. Her hair up in a bun, her pale face is layered with makeup, her eyes are darkened with thick eye shadow, and her eyebrows are painted on. The background looks very similar to a typical Spanish colonial home of a wealthy person.

Her pose in the photo also says a lot about her character in this photo. She stands there with an air of arrogance and pride. If this woman had been a real person she would have probably loved this portrait. I think it is the pose more than anything that makes this particular photo come alive.

This photo really spoke to me because it reminded me of people I knew during my time in Mexico. I remember how some of the very wealthy women tried to hide their aging with lots of makeup and cosmetic surgeries. They loved to show off their wealth by wearing very fancy clothes and lots of jewelry. I found those women grotesque in a way, I hated being around them. I hated being around their denial of aging. Instead of embracing old age and the wisdom that comes with it, they tried to mask the inevitable. Cindy Sherman depicts that fact so well in her Untitled #466 photograph.

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