About This Artwork
In this work, Cindy Sherman presents a character dressed in men’s designer clothing sitting on a stool and gazing directly at the camera. This is not the first time Sherman has explored drag; in Doctor and Nurse, 1980, she modeled as a male doctor and a female nurse, commenting on gender stereotypes in the professions. Sherman also assumed male characters in history portraits (1988–90) and androgynous figures in clowns (2003–5). Here, the character is posed with elbow resting on knee and chin on fist, reminiscent of Auguste Rodin’s famous nineteenth-century bronze The Thinker. Yet the serious expression is betrayed by the figure’s comical cat-print pants. Of equal weight to the portrait is the background, composed of photographs Sherman took during trips to Bavaria, Shanghai, and Sissinghurst, England. The rich colors, attained through dye sublimation printing (a technique Sherman first used in 2016), are coupled with the extreme digital manipulation of the background images. The result is a glitchy, otherworldly landscape, perhaps a modern-day version of Rodin’s The Gates of Hell.