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Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills Hardcover – 27 Oct 2003
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About the Author
Cindy Sherman is a ground-breaking American photographer, born in 1954. She began her "Film Stills" series at the age of 23, gaining early recognition, and has followed it with remarkable experiments in color photography. Her art has won her wide recognition and praise, and been collected and exhibited by major museums throughout the world since 1980. A major retrospective exhibition of her work was shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Dallas Museum of Art. Sherman is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She is represented by Metro Pictures gallery in New York.
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Before it would have been difficult to see all of these works but now they're all present in large full page photographs with no interuption.
Sherman herself has ordered the prints the way she thinks they should be seen, and with her own introduction to her work, it's almost too good to be true... but it is.
If you love Cindy Sherman, I advise you buy it.
If you love 1950's film noire, I advise you buy it.
If you think the cover looks good, I adive you buy it.
I know you wont be disappointed.
The "untitled film stills" are just a collection of "portraits" of Ms Sherman in disguise as a second rate steriotyped character removed from some movie.
The introduction itself, written by Ms Sherman herself, is nothing but a bunch of trivialities and a good example of the fact that most artists are unable to talk about their own work in an articulate and intelligent way.
Technically the pictures are poor and, naturally, one is led to wonder whether at the time Ms Sherman could dominate all the pratical sides of Photography. Moreover some are not even taken by her but by people who apparently had no particular qualifications. It's hardly surprising that some of the stills look very much like the pictures one finds in family albums.
Not wanting to be entirely negative, I would single out still #21 as interesting but I cannot bring myself to say more than that.
The principal interest I found in this book was the confirmation that the art world is full of "masterpieces" of which the future is uncertain, to say the least.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Who will like this book? I think just about anyone with an interest in art or photography would consider this a "must have" book for their personal library. Nothing in this book would embarrass you if you gave it as a gift; it is edgy, but not to the point of weirdness. I just gave a copy to my 10-year-old daughter for inspiration and she really enjoyed it (though probably not at the level of an adult). If you are willing to look, this book will reward you.
Like any great artist, she makes it look easy. Her singular vision is apparent in the location selection, "set" design, makeup and costuming. If you have ever tried to do this yourself, you will respect what she has accomplished. The end result is that Ms. Sherman reveals what she wants us to believe are her innermost thoughts and emotions. Like great cinema, these photos achieve true suspension of disbelief and challenge the viewer's own framework of emotional identity. In the end, we believe.
Arguably, these are the best work ever done by Ms. Sherman. One complaint about her newer work is that it seems to continue to retread the same themes and variations. Sure, her newest works are bigger and colorful in keeping with the latest trends in photography -- personally, my favorites are the images in this book. There is a freshness I don't find in her later work. But this human story, like her imagery, will always continue to be explored by artists as long as there are humans to explore.