The paradox of Cindy Sherman, in the center and in the shadow of her photographs. Deia, News from Bizkaia

The paradox of Cindy Sherman, in the center and in the shadow of her photographs. Deia, News from Bizkaia

Cindy Sherman (USA, 1954) monopolizes the entire process of creating her photographs, is the face that is placed in front of the objective and is at the same time the person who executes, however, her own identity is hidden in the result final.

LONDON. That is the central axis on which revolves the retrospective with which the National Portrait Gallery in London has wanted to pay tribute to this unusual photographer, which, according to the curator Paul Moorhouse, many people have a wrong perception.

As Sherman herself is the protagonist of all her snapshots, many people think she is selfish or narcissistic, the expert told the media.

"It's a very common mistake, but the photographs have nothing to do with Cindy's own personality, what she does is create imaginary people," he explained.

The American, 65, has a photography approach away from any conventionalism, which works in complete solitude but is transformed into a string of characters who pose invented situations thus creating a fictional universe.

Using costumes, wigs, accessories and, above all, a lot of makeup, Sherman is capable of becoming almost any type of person, as can be seen from his early work in the seventies, when he was studying at the State University of Buffalo and discovered his fascination for changing their appearance.

In the play "Murder Mystery", which can be seen at the beginning of the show, Sherman created thirteen characters based on the casting of a film of the forties, which could not miss a detective, a butler or a wealthy lady.

The artist's taste for the seventh art can also be seen in a series of film-like snapshots in which she transforms into stereotyped roles as a woman.

From the mid-nineties, Sherman increased the presence of masks in his work, enhancing the artificiality of his appearance and even reaching a sinister point in the series "Clowns" (Clowns).

In that same decade, his "controversial relationship" with fashion began, Moorhouse said at the presentation of the show, a relationship that continues today with "multiple collaborations" with brands and fashion magazines.

The commissioner defined that relationship as "love-hate", because although "Cindy loves fashion, at the same time it disgusts" and that discussion can be distinguished in several of his works full of irony.

The exhibition also recreates the solitary New York studio of the creator, in which she gives life to the multiple individuals that capture her portraits and where she draws inspiration from the media.

Television, advertising, magazines, movies or art are all part of their contemporary visual language.

Almost two hundred snapshots are spread across the gallery and reveal the versatility of a photographer who plays to manipulate his own image to make the viewer think of one of the greatest mysteries of the human being: "Who am I?".

Considered one of the most influential artists of her generation, this exhibition, which will open its doors on Thursday, June 27 until September 15, covers forty years of Sherman's career, with some works never before seen in the United Kingdom.

For the director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, the images of the American seem now more "relevant and prophetic than ever in the age of social networks and selfies."

In a world where appearances have become increasingly important, Sherman has spent four decades exploring the image itself in a biting and satirical tone that the visitor can now soak up.

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