Cindy Sherman exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery takes self-image to another level

A new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery is putting the spotlight on an artist whose focus on portraiture has renewed relevance in our digital age of selfies and constructed self-images. 

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Retrospective of the renowned American artist runs Oct. 26, 2019 to Mar. 8, 2020

A new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery is putting the spotlight on an artist whose focus on portraiture has renewed relevance in our digital age of selfies and constructed self-images. 

American photographer Cindy Sherman, considered one of the world’s great contemporary artists, has spent her 40-year career manipulating her own image through her photographers, transforming her appearance using props, costumes, hair and makeup. 

The retrospective — which spans from the 1970s with her student work right through to 2019 — was organized in collaboration with the U.K’s National Portrait Gallery.

Magda Keaney, the senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery, says Sherman’s work explores cultural archetypes, character and identities that are prevalent in historical and contemporary society. 

“It’s quite an … intense and strange project to have photographed herself over such a long period of time,” Keaney said to guest host Jason D’Souza on CBC’s .  

Keany says when Sherman started her work in the 1970s, there was nowhere near the contemporary awareness of the selfie or what it meant to photograph yourself all the time. 

“It’s interesting to consider it in 2019 when we live in a contemporary culture that’s kind of obsessed with self image.”

“Cindy Sherman” runs at the Vancouver Art Gallery until March 8, 2020.

Listen to the full interview with curator Magda Keaney on CBC’s On The Coast:

With files from On The Coast

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