This book, which accompanied a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, considers Cindy Sherman's oeuvre through the lens of portraiture. Featuring key examples of her work - from her earliest photographs through to her most recent - it explores the mercurial relationship between appearance and reality.
Cindy Sherman is among the most influential artists of her generation. Using herself as model, wearing a range of costumes and portraying herself in invented situations, she interrogates the imagery employed by the mass media, popular culture and fine art. Television, advertising, magazines, fashion and Old Master paintings all form part of her visual language.
Whether using make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to manipulate her own appearance, or devising elaborate tableaux, her entire body of 40 years’ work constitutes a highly distinctive response to contemporary and earlier culture, whose stylistic tropes she appropriates and quotes. This book explores the rich cultural sources that Sherman plunders in creating provocative and ambiguous images that lead us to question the things we see.