Cindy Sherman (1954). . the perfect selfie

 

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It wasn’t to difficult to find a good portrait of Cindy Sherman on Google, because every picture by Cindy Sherman features …Cindy Sherman. So before the craze of the selfie photography , Sherman already made “perfect” selfies, every time staged in a different setting.

She has become world famous with these photographs and had in the Netherlands on several occasions exhibitions, including the retrospective in the Boymans van Beuningen, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

One exception is that at one time in her career she wasn’t present in het photographs. In 1992 Sherman embarked on a series of photographs now referred to as “Sex Pictures.” For the first time, Sherman is entirely absent from these photographs. Instead, she again uses dolls and prosthetic body parts, this time posed in highly sexual poses. Prosthetic genitalia – both male and female – are used often and photographed in extreme close-up. Photographed exclusively in color, these photographs are meant to shock. Sherman continued to work on these photographs for some time and continued to experiment with the use of dolls and other replacements for what had previously been herself.

 

When i looked closely at these photographs i found a great resemblance with the POUPEE photographs by Hans Bellmer. I might be wrong, but because of this resemblance i find this series much less interesting than the photographs with Sherman in them.

 

 

Eric Fischl (1948) Provocative Neo-Impressionism

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Provocative? Maybe for the US , but for us Europeans this is far less provocative and controversial than for US citizens.  The first time i encountered work by Fischl was when i read about him in one of The Parkett magazines in the eighties. I could see the provocation within the scenes of the paintings and because of the subjects one makes up complete stories on the scenes depicted within these paintings. These scenes trigger your imagination and because of that imagination these are powerful paintings.

Realism in a very personal and highly recognizable style,  a symbiosis of Hopper and Rockwell, resulting in a Fischl painting. For me Fischl is the artistic contemporary son of Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell, who depicts in a provocative way every day life of the Americans. www.ftn-books.com has one title on Fischl available at the moment

Sigmar Polke (1941-2010)

It took a long time for me to finally appreciate the art by Sigmar Polke, but once i did i became a fan and realized that he must be one of the true great artists from last century. Born in the middle of WWII he soon became in the early sixties one of the leading German artists that started their career after this terrible war. The trademark of his works became the use of polka dots in grids as an overlay and he stayed with the use of these polka dots technique throughout his entire career. Side stepping to photography and almost monochrome paintings his oeuvre became very diversified, but always recognizable. Turning point for me was the Polke i saw within a Beyeler Museum exhibition. I do not remember which show it was, but i remember the technique of the polka dots as an overlay to the picture, which reminded me to Marcel van Eeden. Where van Eeden uses small intimate sizes, Polke uses large canvasses. Magnified pictures within a different context are part of his works and sometimes even lean towards surrealism. There is one work i have to see sometime in my life. It is the work he created for the reopening of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1999. When i visit Berlin this will be a must see for me.

There are some nice publications in the inventory of www.ftn-books.com