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The Many Guises of Cindy Sherman: Sex Pictures (1989 - 1992)

To cap our features of Sherman's notable works in film, allow us to share with you what may be some of her last major photos taken using film. Take a look at Sherman's provocative series from the early 90s entitled "Sex Pictures" after the jump!

Warning: Although made with inanimate objects, the photos in this gallery are explicit!

American conceptual photographer Cindy Sherman churned out one gripping photo series after another during the 1980s, eventually leading to one of her most provocative works in her career: Sex Pictures, taken between 1989 – 1992.

Roused—or even provoked as Simon Schama put it in an FT Magazine feature the controversial works of Andres Serrano (Piss Christ, 1987) and Robert Mapplethorpe, Sherman countered with her own take on shock art and put together Sex Pictures. In this collection, she interestingly does not appear in any of the photos. In her place are anatomically correct mannequins that, as the series title hints, are positioned in vulgar poses and are disturbingly missing some of their parts.

While the style and shock level is certainly reminiscent of her Disasters, it’s worth asking, why did Sherman opt to remove herself from her photos? She tells Therese Lichtenstein for the Journal of Contemporary Art:

“For me it was out of boredom from using myself in the work, and feeling tied to that way of working. I became more interested and fascinated by the basics of what these prosthetic body parts were and I was just trying to use them without having to wear them myself.”

Then, on the creative process itself, Sherman elaborates:

“There was a little frustration because the mannequin can’t move exactly the way the human body moves. It can only move in one direction. That’s when I discovered I could take it apart. If I wanted the arms to go around the waist I would have to remove them at the shoulder and then drape them. That’s where the playing came in — experimenting and taking it apart and seeing what I could imply when it comes apart and when I’ve put it back together again.”

So, how do you find these thought-provoking works by Cindy Sherman? Share your insights with us with a comment below!

Check out The Many Guises of Cindy Sherman: 1976 – 1980 and The Many Guises of Cindy Sherman: 1980 – 1990 to find out more about Sherman’s work from the previous decades.

Information for this article were sourced from FT Magazine, Cindy Sherman on Wikipedia, Hybrid Utterance on Wordpress, and Journal of Contemporary Art.

written by plasticpopsicle

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