Cindy Sherman: Characters | Art21 “Extended Play”

Cindy Sherman: Characters | Art21 “Extended Play”

Cindy Sherman: Characters Did you know they have press-on nails for
pedicures? [LAUGHS] I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m really
dying to try them. Isn’t that crazy? [LAUGHS] I’m thinking of just wearing them myself just
to… …for a party, just as a joke, you know?
I mean they just… [LAUGHS] I mean, except these aren’t as obvious. These are maybe more obvious because they
have little polka dots on them and they just look like, “Who would wear little
polka dots on their toes?” My work is not about, kind of, fantasizing
about characters or situations. Some people, I think, have thought that the
characters I do were… …yeah, like, as if I’ve always fantasized
about being a femme fatale or whatever, you know, if… in my film stills. I don’t think of it as that literal to me. When I’m doing the characters, I really don’t
feel like it’s some sort of… something that grows out of my fantasy–my
own dreams. In college, when I would do it, I would, you know, become a character and
then sort of think, “Well, gee, here I am as Lucille Ball. What
do I do now?” So then it became sort of a thing and a little
more like performance. And I started to do it going to parties sometimes. I remember once getting all in character and
wanting to go to some opening, and feeling like something was missing– and then I put a pillow under the dress and
went as a pregnant woman. And when I moved to New York I did it a few
times, but it suddenly wasn’t the same, I think, because in the city I felt like I
needed my own, sort of, you know, street armor or whatever just to
deal with the street, and the people out in the street and the crazy
people and the real crazy people, who looked like
some of the characters I was looking like and I didn’t want to be confused, I guess,
with them. The advantage of being myself is I can just
play around. When I’ve experimented with other people in
them, as models– paid models, or friends or family– I feel like I just… I don’t know what to tell them to do because I don’t really know what it is I’m
looking for until I see it, so I tend to sort of rush them through the
whole process. And then I re-do it myself and it’s, like,
grueling, so… I mean, even though I love to do it, its much
more work because, you know, I’m frustrated at trying to capture
on film something that I can’t even articulate because I don’t really know what it is I
am looking for until I see it.

29 thoughts on “Cindy Sherman: Characters | Art21 “Extended Play”

  1. Ok, we know that you know that Cindy Sherman is one of the most famous artists in her media. But if Art21 channel wants more views, artists have to think about subjects that could caught the attention of more kind of people.

    This comment could sound kitsch but if you want more audience, you need to change the perspective to something more popular.

  2. It would be nice if artists would submit to more in depth interviews. maybe they are afraid their work won't stand up to intelligent scrutiny?.

  3. It would be nice if artists would submit to more in depth interviews. maybe they are afraid their work won't stand up to intelligent scrutiny?.

  4. Has anyone seen Cindy lately? Oh, wait. There she is, getting on a bus. And there she is, cleaning windows. I think I saw her yesterday, working as a mime in Times Square. Yeah, she's everyone and everywhere. And so appalling! Congratulations on a brilliant career, my dear.

  5. If you're going to do black face at least do it right. It just looks like she fell in coal, not really trying.

  6. I saw Mrs. Sherman's work at the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, Hawaii about two years ago.  I know it's hers because she's in my PBS library in my apartment.  Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5.

  7. This is great if you already know about Cindy Sherman and the scope of her work. But to the art teachers who are sending students here for their first exposure to Cindy Sherman – of course the students are going to be mostly distracted by her dressing up as black characters! Send your kids to this video first – "How to see Cindy Sherman" – or one of the others by MoMA. Then you can show them the Characters video and have a conversation about empathy, stereotypes, and identity.

  8. I didn't understand or appreciate Ms Sherman's art. I had to watch videos of what others said. Her work is genius

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