Critic and art historian, Hal Foster, looks back to 1970s New York where he first encountered a generation of young artists engaging seriously with the images and effects of mass consumer culture. Amongst them, Cindy Sherman, whose iconographic self-portraits would come to reflect a fascination with how women are depicted in the visual language of film and advertising.
Sherman’s art, influenced by feminism, explores what it means to be under the – sometimes dangerous – gaze of others, but also of oneself. For Sherman, identity is a construction and a performance. Foster argues that in creating these multiple identities in her pictures, Sherman reveals the eternal human impulse to transform the actual body into the desired image. In doing so, she presaged the selfie culture of our times.