Art is a drag
August 30, 2012 12:33 AM   Subscribe

San Francisco Drag Artists recreate iconic Cindy Sherman portraits. A retrospective of Sherman's photographs is now at SF MOMA.
posted by Isadorady (9 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am the real Cindy Sherman.
posted by quadog at 12:49 AM on August 30, 2012


I've been seeing ads for this and I always think they say "Cindy Sheehan".
posted by MattMangels at 12:57 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man. Those Cheetos are such a subtle yet powerful detail.
posted by Mooseli at 6:36 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Saw her show in NY and it was fantastic...very talented artist. No need, by the way, to drag ifn drag queens. That is but a drag
posted by Postroad at 7:00 AM on August 30, 2012


This is still my favorite Sherman photo.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2012


I wish some of these had been imitations of her imitations of famous paintings. META.
posted by juniper at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2012


I've seen ads for her all over sf lately and I don't get the appeal, I honestly thought it was men dressed in drag, on account of how clear it was that the person was wearing way too much makeup
posted by mulligan at 9:05 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've seen ads for her all over sf lately and I don't get the appeal, I honestly thought it was men dressed in drag, on account of how clear it was that the person was wearing way too much makeup

You're definitely meant to realize that they're artificial constructions. It's not meant to be "OMG, I had no idea that it was the same lady in all these photos!" They are rather "inside baseball" works, I guess, though. You need to be art-interested enough to be interested in the ways they interrogate our assumptions about style, identity, "originality," aesthetics and so forth. I find them pretty compelling, myself. Although occasionally I see some where I think "Really? Still mining that vein?"
posted by yoink at 9:47 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like the way to get into Cindy Sherman is through the Untitled Film Stills series. They're tiny, quiet, photos but they're very compelling. There's just the insinuation of a story without any real narrative, if that makes any sense... Some appear completely candid, yet are filled with details that flesh out the character as you look at them.

The portraits in the series being recreated are also filled with just bizarre details. It is one thing to photograph other people, with all their individual faults and unique traits, but to create these characters out of whole cloth and to create them using yourself as the canvas is a totally different and amazing thing. Especially when she can bring so much sympathy and personality to the characters. Even though they are, in some ways, very comical photos (LOL third nipples and supertans) she plays them sad and straight. Even though I like the Film Stills more, that juxtaposition of seriousness and sympathy and weirdness is, I think, more effective at making explicit the kind of questions she's asking about the way society looks at women. Is she laughing at these women? Are you? Why are you? Why is she?

And since they are characters it totally makes sense for these guys who get their kicks inhabiting characters to to try some of Cindy Sherman's. Some of them do a pretty good job, too. The ones who play it straight seem to be going for that same sadness or defiance in the eyes. I'm not claiming it's high art, but at least it's better than what the New York drag artists have been up to and if it gets people to go check out her work, I'm all for it.
posted by clockwork at 4:35 PM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


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