Saltz on Four Never-Before-Seen Photographs by Cindy Sherman The Sherman-esque: The rarest of the rare: Sherman as Sherman in limbo, in a picture made for New York magazine this month. The artist pulling back the curtains, allowing a glimpse of her in transit to the further shores of self. Hair in Baggie, no makeup. Blank slate; bare stare; ulterior motives; a snake-in-the-grass assassin.
Cecil Beaton once said that “making oneself a work of art” was “that most difficult of all causes.” Cindy Sherman not only does that, she’s given herself up entirely to the mission. For nearly four decades, she has been braiding together fashion, photography and the strange internal magic of herself -- dressing up, putting on makeup, doing her hair, donning wigs and posing alone in her studio for the camera. She shows us fashion as costume, compulsion, camp, ritual and necessity. We see the ways fabric and cosmetics touch our bodies in public and how these performances of self make us visible, invisible, awful, sublime. Fashion helps Cindy hide in plain sight; in turn, she plays havoc with fashion. She is our greatest female impersonator.