Cindy Sherman’s body of work over the last 40 years spans the mundane to the eccentric, and her latest artistic decision – to make her formerly private Instagram public – shows that there’s so much more she has to share.
The renowned conceptual photographer quietly switched the privacy settings of her Instagram account off earlier this year, and fans of her work are now able to get a glimpse of what may be Sherman’s most recent experiment: a social commentary on the self-exhibitionist tendencies of the selfie generation.
In recent posts, the artist – who became famous for her self-portraits, but has not often shared private photographs – turns the lens on herself in what looks to be a hospital stay, bringing the private out into the public. On Monday, she shared a warped selfie of herself attached to tubes and wires in a hospital bed with the caption, “On the mend!” A few days earlier, she shared a short video clip of fellow patients singing in the hospital room.
“Sunday hymn & blessing for neighbor (note patient yelling help in background),” she captioned the clip, shot from her perspective propped up in the hospital bed.
Much of Sherman’s most recognizable work over the years has included series of photos of herself in character as other people. At times, she became a clown, at others, a high society dame. She would typically be all gussied up in makeup and costume, with crops and edits that hinted at a larger narrative she was trying to capture.
In an interview with The New York Times last year, Sherman opened up about how the process of aging has impacted her work and her focus as an artist.
“I, as an older woman, am struggling with the idea of being an older woman,” she said at the time. Sherman is 63.
Sherman’s first image in this series of public Instagram images came mid-May, with the simple caption, “Selfie! No filter, hahaha.”