In celebration of the forthcoming fifth season of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, broadcasting this October on PBS, each week we bring you a video clip from a featured artist’s segment. Up next is artist Cindy Sherman. Read a detailed explanation of Sherman’s work back on Art21’s blog here, and read Betsy Sussler’s 1985 BOMB interview with her here.
In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. “My work is not about fantasizing about characters or situations,” she insists. “Some people have thought that I’ve always fantasized about the characters I do, about being a femme fatale or whoever, in my film stills. But when I’m doing the characters, I really don’t feel like it’s something that grows out of my fantasy, my own dreams.”
This video is excerpted from the Season 5 episode Transformation, premiering on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 10pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Transformation features three artists—McCarthy, Cindy Sherman, and Yinka Shonibare MBE—who populate their work with costumes and masks, makeup and style, dolls & mannequins, stage and cinema. Whether observing and satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, these artists inhabit the characters they create and capture the sensibilities of our age.