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Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

(b. 1954)
Born: Glen Ridge, New Jersey, USA

Cindy Sherman is an internationally recognized photographer, film director and one of the founders of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Her provocative, conceptual art is critically acclaimed. She is best known for her conceptual self-portraits, often done in series.

Sherman was born in Glenn Ridge, New Jersey, and grew up in Huntington, Long Island. She began studying painting at Buffalo State College but soon found that photography was her preferred medium. In Buffalo, she met artists Charlie Clough and Robert Longo. Sherman and fellow young visual artists such as Diane Bertolo, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, Robert Longo, and Michael Zwack founded Hallwalls, an independent art space. According to, the artists “carved an exhibition space out of the walls of the hall outside their studios in a former icehouse.”

After receiving her BA at Buffalo State in 1976, Sherman moved to New York City to work as an artist. Living in lower Manhattan, Sherman took a series of photographs that became known as Untitled Film Stills. Her other two most critically acclaimed projects are the History Portraits series and what is known as “Sex Pictures.”

Regarding Untitled Film Stills:

“In these photographs, begun in 1977, Sherman places herself in the roles of B-movie actresses. Her photographs show her dressed up in wigs, hats, dresses, clothes unlike her own, playing the roles of characters. While many may mistake these photographs for self-portraits, these photographs only play with elements of self-portraiture and are really something quite different. In each of these photographs, Sherman plays a type -- not an actual person, but a self-fabricated fictional one. There is the archetypal housewife, the prostitute, the woman in distress, the woman in tears, the dancer, the actress, and the malleable, chameleon-like Sherman plays all of these characters” (

Sherman’s artistic career encompasses more than photography. In 1997, she made her directorial debut with the art-house horror film/black comedy called Office Killer.

In 1998 she made a cameo in the comedy Pecker, directed by John Waters.

Cindy Sherman lives and works in New York City.

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