The only art galleries I have visited include the tiny art section at the Te Papa Museum (if that counts) and the small Hastings City Gallery back home. Therefore visiting the City Gallery in Wellington was a new experience for me. It was fresh and exciting seeing pieces of work created by a very well known artist like Cindy Sherman.
I’ve studied Cindy Sherman throughout high school in my level two and three photography classes. We often used her as an artist model who conveyed messages of beauty and identity, which is true but after looking at her work it’s so much more.
Seeing her photographs up close was so much better than looking on a computer screen or a piece of paper. There’s something about viewing the real image that allows you to see every detail as well as the emotion behind it. The Chanel series is where I first felt this. I have seen certain images online, where it simply looks like Cindy dressed in couture, standing in front of various sceneries. However, when you look close you can see that the scenic backgrounds have been digitally manipulated to look like oil paintings which is something you wouldn’t have noticed it you weren’t up close. Also the blending around the edges of Cindy sometimes looks like it belongs in the painted background.
Looking at Cindy you notice her awkward stances and facial expressions, which contrasts with her elegant outfits that would usually make someone feel confident. The Chanel series also showcases Cindy with no make up what so ever. Instead she has digitally manipulated her bare face to enhance her flaws, such as making her nose bigger and lifting her cheeks in order to create dark bags under her eyes. These effects are completely opposite to the photoshopping seen in photoshoots and magazine covers, this reflects Cindy’s ideas on beauty.