Essay about Gender and Sherman

Submitted By eghas13
Words: 1510
Pages: 7

Identity is defined as the collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known. When expressed in this way, identity seems quite simple and easy to understand. But as we learn about the many ways identity can be expressed and shown we begin to see the bigger picture. First of all, we have the traditional meanings/ways of identity which are fixed and assumed and on the other end of the scale we are faced with postmodern understandings of identity which are much more fluid and unstable. These views of identity have changed as time has progressed due to wider acceptance for identity as people have becoming brave enough to break outside of the socially accepted and experiment with their own identity. Works of Yasumasa Morimura, (born in 1951 was educated at Columbia University, New York and Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia and now works on a wide range of works exploring identity), Cindy Sherman, (born January 19, 1954 is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits) and Abbey McCulloch, (born in 1975 uses a very different approach to art making and her works) will all be explored in this essay. and journey into their works and show how they represent and convey identity in their works. Very distinguishing features of each artists practice using the structural frame which comprises of materials, techniques, use of elements of art-line, colour, shape, tone, texture and composition , the cultural frame which is based around constructs of race, gender, politics, place and time period and the post-modern frame which is an art form challenging traditional notions or artmaking will be looked at.
Cynthia "Cindy" Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. Her best known range being the series of untitled portraits. Sherman plays around with “identity” in all her portraits. In Sherman’s works, she photographs herself, deals with identity and is both artist and subject. The cultural frame is largely a part of Sherman’s works and is clearly read even by people new to her works. She uses her past observations of her culture as a woman to explore issues about gender, culture and social class. In her artworks “Untitled Film Still #14” (1978) and “Untitled Film Still #84” (1978) Sherman’s approach is unique. The black/white photographs which direct to a centred young woman immediately shows the audience this artwork is going to be largely based around the idea of women. In both artowrks and especially “Untitled Film Still #14” there are a lot of sharp, squared lines/shapes which are symbols we put hand in hand with the male gender. With both photo’s showing the subject “surrounded” by these other forces it starts to show the audience Sherman is trying to show a message of femininity. The black, white and shades of grey give an airy feeling to the works as well.
Cynthia "Cindy" Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. Her best known range being the series of untitled portraits. Sherman plays around with “identity” in all her portraits. In Sherman’s works, she photographs herself, deals with identity and is both artist and subject. The cultural frame is largely a part of Sherman’s works and is clearly read even by people new to her works. She uses her past observations of her culture as a woman to explore issues about gender, culture and social class. Sherman dramatically changes her appearance in each artwork using make up. Costumes and wigs are largely used that mask personalities. The photographs “Untitled Film Still #14” (1978) and “Untitled Film Still #84” (1978) both show young women centred in the works, looking “spaced out” and slumped down as if they are run down and tired. Both subjects look off to the distance, as though there is someone watching her. The presence of squared,…