Couple of days ago, a private Instagram account run by famous photographer Cindy Sherman featuring a new series of selfies was made public. It created a sensation in the art world overnight.
The account was created as private on the service last October while in Tokyo. Sherman’s handle then was @misterfriedas_mom, in honor of her pet macaw. Now the artist changed it to @_cindysherman.
Sherman’s Instagram posts are a series of very distorted selfies, still-lives with flowers and disturbing hospital self-portraits. There is a video shot from the perspective of someone lying in a hospital bed. The first thing that crosses your mind is the question, whether Sherman was actually hospitalised, or the whole scenery is fake. The work seems to be made specifically for Instagram – the photos are using Instagram filters too – and not as a physical work for a future show in a gallery. Sherman herself declined to comment anything connected to this – well, art project? – which makes the whole thing event more exciting and fascinating.
Sherman has a long history of dramatically staged self-portraiture, and in a sense pioneered the idea of the “selfie” decades before social media began. But these pieces are the answer to an era of self- and beauty-obsession. And it also shows the world of comments in social media. Out of Instagram context ofter they are pretty creepy.