Cindy Sherman is the definition of a controversial artist — which, according to some, makes her a true artist. Some find her work distasteful, or lacking in depth, while others find her work inspiring, innovative and provocative. Regardless of which side you find yourself on, her influence in the art world cannot be denied. Cindy Sherman is an American artist who is best known for turning self-portraiture on its head. She acts simultaneously as photographer and model, but her pieces are narratives within a scene, so she also fills the role of writer, creative director, set designer, costume designer and makeup artist. Her collections might capture her likeness as movie actresses, or as historical figures, or as clowns. She has employed prosthetics and masks to alter her appearance or as standalone props.
In an age where selfies have propelled celebrity, Cindy Sherman appears to be the anti-selfie queen. Although she takes photographs of herself, she has always maintained that she considers herself anonymous in her work. The makeup and costumes transform her into a character, and after hundreds of works (which she prefers to leave untitled so that viewers can invent their own stories to suit the scene — perhaps even insert themselves in it), she is as much a mystery as ever.
However, in a series of new photographs now on display at Metro Pictures Gallery, she advised the New York Times that she now admits to a more “personal aspect” in her images of aging stars: “I, as an older woman, am struggling with the idea of being an older woman.”
I find her dilemma intriguingly relatable. We often wonder what it’s like for female celebrities to age: Oprah did a show featuring Teri Hatcher, Cybill Shepherd and Linda Evans to discuss the same. But even if we were never famous for our beauty, we still pine for our best, younger selves (when we were 15 lbs lighter, or before we had kids, or when french fries were the only vegetables in our diet). Cindy Sherman has inadvertently documented her aging process through her work, and like any other woman, has to find a way to make peace with it.
Cindy Sherman has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre de la photographie in Geneva, and the Serpentine Gallery in London, among many others. Her new photographs are on display at Metro Pictures Gallery — whose opening group exhibition in 1980 actually featured works by Cindy Sherman — through June 11.
519 West 24th Street
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pair it with:
Doughnuts from Doughnut Plant
Doughnut Plant was established in New York City in the basement of a Lower East Side tenement building where Mark Israel made doughnuts using his grandfather’s recipe and delivered them to other known establishments like Dean & Deluca daily. It wasn’t until 2000 that Mark was able to open his first storefront, and he’s continued to grow it into four New York City locations and nine Tokyo locations. While it started out with yeast doughnuts, what sets Doughnut Plant apart, in my opinion, is their cake doughnuts. Cake doughnuts are dense and buttery as compared to their lighter, fluffier yeast counterparts. The Brooklyn Blackout Cake flavor, my favorite, has been around since 2006 and is a chocolate lover’s dream. But seasonal flavors are also consistently impressive, like the Blueberry, Coconut Chocolate or Caramel flavors. Mark continues to innovate with his latest creation called Doughpods, where yeast doughnuts are filled with savory fillings such as avocado and samosa — we tried them, but the cake doughnuts will always be our first choice here.
220 West 23rd Street
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 7 a.m. – Midnight