Cindy Sherman

Untitled #410 (2003)

About this artwork

Cindy Sherman began her ‘Clowns’ series of photographs in 2003. As a logical progression of her interest in dressing up, the photographs explore the range of emotions that can lie behind the painted face of a clown. The series was inspired by an article of clothing, a pair of pyjamas with fur-like buttons, which the artist purchased at a yard sale. In this photograph, the clown’s outfit of a rather frumpy patterned skirt and frilled blouse seems to be at odds with her riotous make-up and cowboy hat. While the costume and hand suggest a middle-aged woman, the face is dramatically different. The digitally-manipulated background to the clown refers to traditional, brightly-coloured circus posters.

  • title: Untitled #410
  • accession number: GMA 4722
  • artist: Cindy ShermanAmerican (born 1954)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • date created: 2003
  • measurements: 141.00 x 101.50 cm
  • credit line: Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland 2004
  • copyright: © Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman first came to prominence in the late 1970s with her ‘Untitled Film Stills’, a series of black and white photographs in which Sherman adopts stereotypical female characters from classic 1950s Hollywood films and B-movies. During the 1980s Sherman continued to examine archetypal images of women, taking on the central role in her images and moving into colour photography. Shaping her own image using a range of disguises including wigs, prosthetics, make-up and costumes, she creates characters drawn from the worlds of cinema, fashion, art history and everyday life. Avoiding self-portraiture, Sherman’s photographs cross the boundary into performance art and show how identities and stereotypes can be adopted and performed.