I’ve been feeling a little lost lately as a photographer and when this happens, I look to work that inspired me to shoot in the first place. I thought it would be nice to share those influences (and hopefully others will be inspired as well).
When I was studying film photography in Ohio (probably 6 years ago), I was asked to compile a list of artists who inspired me. Cindy Sherman, of course, was one of them. I don’t know when I first came across her work – maybe another photographer or art teacher recommended her, but I loved what she did. She became other characters.
I think her work was the first time I’d ever seen a photographer take self-portraiture to this level. And I was thrilled to find a strong female photographer (in yet another industry of my choice that is heavily male) who had a theatrical flare I could relate to (as I was also a theatre major at the time). Her work Untitled Film Stills is still one of my favorites, partially because they look like they were pulled from a Hitchcock film, but also because they were simple and complex all at once.
The more I began to learn about Cindy Sherman and her process also made me feel more connected. She works alone (no assistant, gasp!), crafts stories and characters with her photos and has what I imagine to be one hell of a costume collection. There’s a lovely Vogue article about her here: “Art Becomes Her”
And, I’ve just discovered that a collection of her work is on display at SFMOMA -perfectly timed for my trip this week. Excitement!