Untitled #21

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Untitled #21, Cindy Sherman, 1977
BY MELISA CAPAN


Beginning her art career as painter, Sherman found the limitations in the medium to be frustrating and turned towards photography after the wave of American Feminism. Her series of 69 “Untitled Film Stills” determined her reputation as she flipped the camera on herself for various self-portraits. This series brought on international recognition. From Hollywood to ‘the girl next door,’ Sherman posed and re-evaluated women’s roles throughout history and pop culture. By leaving lots of her works Untitled, she leaves the interpretation up to the viewers. In fact, Sherman strives herself on believing her work has no direct message. 

Themes of sexual adventure and self-identity ravage the stills. Particularly in Untitled #21, Sherman stands as a small town girl taking on the crazy metropolitan city. This black and white photograph brings out the dark shadowy building and the newly-found seduction of the Big City. As she ran out of clichés in 1980, she stopped. The Metropolitan Art Museum obtained them for $1 million. Little did Sherman know that by simply standing still, she could revolutionize photography in her own way.

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