The many faces of Cindy Sherman: MoMA retrospective shows artist"s incredible character archive from clowns to movie stars

The many faces of Cindy Sherman: MoMA retrospective shows artist's incredible character archive from clowns to movie stars

Cindy Sherman, the acclaimed American photographer, celebrated the opening of her retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this week amongst a host of celebrity supporters and friends.

The post-modern artist, who MoMA calls one of the most influential of our time, will be showing 171 of her character pieces in an exhibit that pays tribute to her insightful study of the image of women throughout the years.

Ms Sherman is known for the way she approaches her subjects. Inspired by pictures of female characters she sees in magazines, on the television and through various portholes of media and art, she dresses up in costume with elaborate make-up and shoots the photographs herself.

Is that Cindy The artist MoMA calls one of the most influential of our time, will be showing 171 of her character pieces in an exhibit that pays tribute to her insightful study of the image of women throughout the years

Is that Cindy The artist MoMA calls one of the most influential of our time, will be showing 171 of her character pieces in an exhibit that pays tribute to her insightful study of the image of women throughout the years

Fake film star: Inspired by pictures of female characters she sees in magazines, on the television and through various portholes of media and art, Cindy Sherman dresses up in costume with elaborate make-up and shoots the photographs herself

Fake film star: Inspired by pictures of female characters she sees in magazines, on the television and through various portholes of media and art, Cindy Sherman dresses up in costume with elaborate make-up and shoots the photographs herself

The photographs are not self-portraits but rather depictions of invented personas and tableaus shot in her studio without the help of any assistants, costume designers or hair and make-up experts.

Sarah Evans, assistant professor of contemporary art history at Northern Illinois University, explained to MSNBC ahead of the opening: 'They’re portraits of the types of images that surface in our world. She’s mirroring the media in a way that’s especially important for women.'

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #465. 2008. Chromogenic color print, 63 3/4 x 57 1/4

Disguised: The photographs are not self-portraits but rather depictions of invented personas and tableaus shot alone in her studio without the help of any assistant

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #463. 2007-08. Chromogenic color print, 68 5/8 x 6

Having a masquerade ball: The acclaimed American photographer, celebrated the opening of her retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art this week amongst a host of celebrity supporters and friends

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #466. 2008. Chromogenic color print, 8' 6

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #474. 2008. Chromogenic color print, 7' 6 3/4

Unrecognisable: Eva Respini, the associate curator at MoMA says: 'I think Cindy Sherman is more contemporary than she’s ever been. I think we’re in a media-saturated society, where everyone can be their own star…and I think her work definitely picks up on that, and responds to that.'

Clowning around: Ms Sherman is known for her series of photographs including those of clowns taken between 2003-4

Clowning around: Ms Sherman is known for her series of photographs including those of clowns taken between 2003-4

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #264. 1992. Chromogenic color print, 50 x 6' 3

All woman: Visitors to the exhibition will also enjoy examples from her fashion photography of the early 1980's to the breakthrough sex pictures of 1992 to her 2003 – 04 clowns and monumental society portraits from 2008

Cindy Sherman. Untitled #119. 1983. Chromogenic color print, 48 1/2 x 7' 10