About This Artwork
A celebrated symbol used by artists for centuries, from Picasso to Bruce Nauman, the clown as subject is an apt extension of Sherman’s practice, embodying the artist who plays multiple roles, displays extreme expression, and most of all entertains. Sherman’s clowns, unlike the other series in this gallery, do not inspire narrative nor do they hint at a past or future. Instead the clowns exist in their own psychedelic environments, each photographed in front of a green screen with a digitally rendered background. In Untitled #413, the figure’s painted features depict a frown while its human features, eyes looking slightly upward and open mouth, read more as surprise than sadness. The clown wears a jacket embroidered with the name “Cindy,” a playful nod to the artist’s simultaneous presence and absence in almost all of her work. The viewer is left to ponder the relationships of interior psychology and outward expression, intention and perception.