In her photography, Cindy Sherman developed characteristic appropriations of characters whom she transformed into her own brand of authorship, creating scenes based on references to popular aesthetics and common-sense notions, in particular, certain stereotypes for women taken from the movies, magazines, advertising and the arts. Throughout her career, Sherman has used and manipulated images, inventing new types of image repertories which, in a highly original way, tell stories about women in our societies. Her originality is based essentially on her great skill to create a wide range of characters with the help of makeup and prostheses: Sherman uses her own body as a medium, as raw material, and sets these dramatis personae into the photographic medium. Her transformative body – anchored, however in a social reality – is as much painting as sculpture.
Richard Prince is a conceptual artist, a photographer, writer, painter, sculptor, collector, actor, graphic designer, and curator, who is forever putting in crisis categorizations and the traditional role of the artist through the production of an extremely personal mythology. During the 1970s, Prince worked with the contents of lifestyle magazines, catalogued its clichés and stereotypes, and transformed that iconography into the material of his own oeuvre. By re-photographing the images of those publications and focusing at times only on certain particular elements, he questioned the notion of intellectual property, a radical artistic gesture in its day.
Above: Richard Prince: Untitled (Cowboy), 1997. Left: Cindy Sherman: Untitled #199A, 1989.
© Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo.