your tumblr is such a dream! it really is. I just heard of Cindy's collaboration with MAC and I almost laughed of the irony. Do you know anything else of this collaboration or why she chose to do this?
First, thank you very much for the kind comment! I am glad to hear that others enjoy Cindy Sherman and her work as much as I do.
I haven’t found much information about the MAC partnership, but I completely agree that it is an ironic venture.
It is understandable why MAC would contact Cindy; she has made a career of transforming and disguising herself, with make-up playing a very big role in that. Plus, Cindy is now more successful than ever. She just broke the record for the most expensive photograph sold at auction, and she is going have a retrospective at the MoMA in February. So, from a business standpoint, they probably view this as a perfect opportunity to gain acceptance from a new crowd as her audience broadens even further.
As far as what Sherman’s motives are, I am not sure. But if I were to take a guess—and especially after seeing the hilarious personae she channels in the campaign ads—I’d say she saw it as a perfect chance to poke fun at the brand, or “stick it to the man.” (Sorry for using that lame term.)
Throughout her career, she has sort of found ways to slip insults into her artwork—and even her commissions—and then cover them with a thin layer of sweet playfulness, allowing them to go by unnoticed. (If you’d like, I could elaborate and give you specific examples. Just ask!) I think this might just be another one of those instances, but I guess we really have no way of knowing. Only she knows.
She also once half-jokingly said that some of her recent work could carry the message that, no matter how much work a woman has done to her face or how much make-up she wears, she cannot hide or change herself. These three ads could certainly be an extension of that. All have a colorful, plastic facade, but the blonde-haired woman is still obviously aging, the clown is still visibly sad, and the brunette’s Botox and plastic surgery hasn’t made her any more appealing.
“These are no ordinary pinup pieces. Sherman obliviously means to play off against the centerfold conventions. Sweat drenches cheeks, damp bangs are plastered to foreheads, hands clutch bedcovers or newspaper clippings. Instead of projecting allure, the expressions Sherman’s personae assume are remote and ambiguous. Despite the initial message of come-hither availability, the pictures ultimately close the viewer off.”—New York Times art critic, Andy Grundberg, about the Centerfolds series. (1981)
“[Cindy’s] dealers marvelled at her apparent lack of ego. ‘I don’t think her ambition is clear to this day,’ Helene Winer said last spring. ‘I know it’s there, because it couldn’t not be. But she never even knew or cared who the important critics and collectors were. I couldn’t think of another artist with comparable innocence or disinterest.’ There is one slight problem in representing Sherman, according to Janelle Reiring: ‘It’s very hard to get her to say what she wants. She doesn’t like to ask for anything.’”—Excerpt from Calvin Tomkins’ May 2000 article about Cindy Sherman in The New Yorker
“Everybody knows Cindy as this incredibly sweet person, but she also has a great edge and anger to her, which comes out in the work. At one point in the eighties, I think she got pretty angry about [the success of] Schnabel and Salle and me, and she made some really nasty work, great work. It was like she was saying, ‘Well, fuck you.’”—Robert Longo
When I met Cindy Sherman in 1982, she had a buzz around her but she lived in a flat without a bathroom, you had to step out into the hall. We got along so well that we got married five months after we met. Cindy accepted that I had a sickness, she accepted my heroin habit, she’s so not nuts but for her it didn’t seem strange.
I would never live with a junkie in my life, if you paid me I wouldn’t do it. I know too well the complexity of it. It must have been a nightmare but Cindy accepted it. By that time I wanted to quit but I didn’t know what to do.
Then Cindy started to sell more pictures, was making more money and she finally got health insurance and since we were married I was able to go to a real detox that was covered by insurance and somehow I made the decision to stop.
”—Michel Auder, video artist and Cindy Sherman’s ex-husband
“The new Wes Craven slasher flick, “Scream 3,” is playing all over, and I arrange to see it with Sherman. She slides down in her seat like a teenager, knees pulled up, and giggles at the gory parts and the in jokes, like the casting of Roger Corman in a bit part, and afterward she says it isn’t anywhere near as scary as Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which is one of her all time favorites, along with “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” She loves the adrenaline rush that she gets from even the worst of these films, and she also believes that they help fortify you for the horrible events that can invade your life at any moment.”—Calvin Tomkins - The New Yorker, 2000