CINDY SHERMAN "LUIGI 7 PM" 1978
Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills" is a masterpiece of the 20th century; a seminal body of work that ushered in an era of appropriation, criticism of iconography, gender and cinema tropes.
Over the course of her career she has consistently explored how gender is depicted in visual culture, in film, fashion magazines, art history, and in the domestic realm. She demonstrates a playful subversiveness as she becomes a mid-century archetype for the camera.
Sherman's work from the late 1970's amplified the artistic potential of photography by using image-making to confront feminist and post-modern theories. Consider that in this period there was still debate on whether photography should be considered as fine art.
This black and white photograph is an exceptional work from the same era as the beloved and iconic "Untitled Film Stills". Here Sherman assumes the identity of a man reading the newspaper in bed. S/he wears a suit with the tie undone in a similarly disheveled room surrounded by cigarette butts, the corner of the paper headline reads “the girls”. He is both mysterious and louche...depicted in a banal setting perhaps moments before a night out or something more menacing.
Since the late 1970's Cindy Sherman has donned an array of personas, disguises and costumes to explore how women are perceived, presented and judged in Western culture. This attention to set, costume and makeup characteristically mask the artist’s own identity emphasizing the malleability of the human persona and narrative power of photography.
There is an inherent proximity to "drag" in Sherman's practice. Yet remarkably, with the exception of the series of Old Master works from the 1990's, Sherman has only disguised herself as a man in a very small number of images.
This work is one of those exceptional occurrences.
Sherman’s work is represented in every major public collection including SFMoMA, Tate Gallery (London), and Centre Georges Pompidou (Pairs) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC). This particular image can be found in the collection of The Walker (Minneapolis, MN) and Yale University Art Gallery.
This photograph was printed for a 1993 portfolio published by October Magazine alongside works by Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons, Sherrie Levine and more.
To learn more about the "Untitled Film Stills", which was acquired in its entirety by the MoMA in 1996, click here.
Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720
"Untitled" (aka Luigi 7 PM)
Signed, numbered and dated
From an edition of 30
Gelatin silver print
7.5"H 10"W (image)
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