John Grande, an artist and former printer for Annie Liebovitz and Jack Pierson, among other well-known photographers, has made a series of paintings based on Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills. Actually, they’re more than just “based on,” from what I can tell — they’re painted versions of Sherman’s photographs that seem to exist solely under the auspices of posing these questions (which I’ve lifted from a blurb on his gallery’s website):
“What if Sherman had been a male painter producing the same images on large scale canvasses from the beginning? How would this have affected her acceptance in the art world and the market value of her work? And what happens when a third party intervenes in self portraiture? Is there something of the third party that brings an “otherness” to the work? How does the dialogue about “the male gaze” shift now that a male is producing the work? Does the fact that these images were initially produced as editions and now they are one of a kind objects have any relevance to the ongoing dialogue between painting and photography? And if photography was supposed to bring about the death of painting, and most paintings end up being viewed as photographs anyway, does a painting of a famous photograph champion photography or painting?”
Wow, them’s a whole lot of questions that the paintings themselves appear in no way to address, other than by mere fact of their existence. There’s a strange, sci-fi esque alternate history thingee going on there with the gallery’s breathless series of “what if” queries that makes me giggle, I can’t help it. What if Cindy Sherman was really Robert Longo posing as an elderly woman masquerading as a downtown artist ALL ALONG, how would that have affected the notion of the “male gaze,” along with the art world’s acceptance of Sherman’s work? What if the death of painting was really the death of photography posing as the death of the Other? What then, by God, what then??
(Via Art21 blog).
One of my favorite blogs, C-Monster, has an interview with ‘Guest of Cindy Sherman’ director Paul H-O. “During a series of exclusive interviews, Paul and Cindy fall in love and begin a romance. Unexpectedly, the relationship forces Paul to confront issues of ego, gender and identity as he gets caught up in the aura of Cindy’s celebrity.With unprecedented access, the documentary places us in the company of the great artist. Spanning over 15 years and including more than fifty interviews with art world and entertainment luminaries…” The interview is a bit random. No mention of Sherman, mainly just some random questions but might be worth it if you like Paul H-O.
Guest of Cindy Sherman opens March 27th in selected theaters.
C-M: What’s the biggest stereotype about art?
H-O: That tremendous macho attitude that someone like Picasso embodied. Martin Kippenberger established a certain style for himself that way, too. Then there’s Schnabel. People don’t think I like Julian Schnabel, but, in fact, I adore him. He’s given me great material. He is that larger-than-life figure. He adopts the attitude of being Picasso, and since he’s such a visible figure, Hollywood people see him and say, “Here’s an artist!”
Read the entire interview here.