Sherman, whose 1981 self-portrait was sold for $3.89 million in May this year, is no stranger to the fashion world. In 2007 and 2008 she shot a series of photographs wearing Balenciaga, which was shown for the first time in the US last September at where she portrayed various fashion types, from the “fashion victim” to the “aging doyenne”.
Of the Balenciaga project Sherman told Nowness that, “It was inspired by the idea of party photos seen so often in magazines where people, desperate to show off their status and connections, excitedly pose to have their picture taken with larger-than-life-sized smiles and personalities.”
For MAC cosmetics, Sherman has created three new characters each created with a different palette. Style blog Racked quotes the Press Release:
“With the help of props, makeup, prosthetics, wigs and sets, artist Cindy Sherman embodies this Power of Transformation-from off-kilter Hitchcock heroine to fresh corpse, Caravaggio Portrait to Park Avenue Plastic Surgery Maven-all elaborate exercises in trying on different personas.
In the campaign we’ve longed forever to conceive, Cindy Sherman for M·A·C created three characters using three different colour stories. We’re living in a time when people of all persuasions have become bolder than ever about the ways they choose to express themselves: with a colourful palette of possibilities, You are the Artist, You are your own Subject, and no matter how fearfully you begin, you become fearless in the process.”
It also throws a fascinating light on Sherman’s own work. While her photography has been the subject of extensive academic analysis around issues of gender and identity, this work is a reminder of the extent to which her work is also rooted in the girlhood idiom of playing dress-up. Lady Gaga is just one popular figure channelling a similar spirit. And this is all taking place in the world of popular fashion blogging by influential teenagers such as Tavi Gevenson.
Trend to watch? Don’t be surprised to see the cosmetics and beauty sector getting a bit more playful.
The Cindy Sherman for MAC collection is available from September 29th through October 27th
Cindy Sherman MAC Cosmetics