News: Day Two, Miami Art Fairs: Picture this / Newcity Newspaper

Identity-freezing photographs

There’s so much to see in Miami that you either have to create your own lens or look through a camera’s. Photos caught my eye at the art fairs this year, perhaps because in a sea of constantly moving people and new art around every booth wall and corner, savoring a pre-recorded gift is not only refreshing, it’s a necessary means of survival.

Cindy Sherman’s newest work is not just fitting, but perfect for Miami, the city of botoxed lips, fake boobs and women dressed hyper-feminine enough to seem like performed versions of themselves, projected back through a palm tree-lined lens. Featuring selections plucked straight from her current show at Metro Pictures in New York (runs through December 23), these works at Art Basel Miami Beach show an aging Sherman still up to her constantly evolving, though conceptually sound, themes of gender performance. In one “Untitled” (all works “Untitled,” 2008) the artist uses a cheesy fairytale-like photograph of a lush green forest, using Photoshop to insert herself inside an open valley, thus creating a vignette. The low-neck of her mint-green dress seems to form a heart shape, and pearl earrings around her neck suggest her wealth, but the purposefully thick brown drawn-on eyebrows that don’t match up with her real eyebrows cause an uneasiness, exposing the ways that women try to hide their aging process. Keeping in line with the evolving photography process, but avoiding lackluster photography that focuses solely on techie Photoshop tricks, Sherman once again smartly updates her trademark work.

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