Cindy Sherman is both one woman and an infinite number of real and imagined women. She is not only one of the most influential contemporary photographers but she is also her own makeup artist, hair stylist and subject. As a model, her persona explodes into a vast range of roles, in which there is never-ending variation yet restricted by rigid boundaries, designated for us as "female." She photographs herself in different roles, all named "Untitled" yet all strangely familiar. We know this film-noir vixen, we know this collagen-pumped aging socialite. These are the roles women are all offered and expected to play.
Sherman exposes how her artistic endeavor isn't all that different from the universal expectation of the female image. Look a certain way, play a certain role... Sherman shows us the categories we already know all too well. Thirty-five years of the photographer's work will show at the Museum of Modern Art from February 26 to June 11. Listen to the curator speak on the exhibition and Sherman's immense influence in art and culture in the video above.