At home with Cindy Sherman
The American artist, more used to posing as other people, invites Architectural Digest into her house
There’s a certain thrill in seeing Cindy Sherman on the sofa of her own home, in East Hampton, New York. Hers is a face we’re more used to viewing in other roles. In her classic Hollywood pastiches, Untitled Film Stills, as the writer and curator Paul Moorhouse puts it in our Phaidon Focus book on the artist, “the scene is not composed in a formal manner, and the woman does not appear posed, but the way she occupies the space of the picture generates both visual tension and aesthetic satisfaction.”
Meanwhile, the haughty women and palatial homes in her later series, Society Portraits, Moorhouse writes, “are betrayed by neurosis, chilling self-absorption and a mask-like veneer of charm, “ he writes. “Even the way the portraits are framed strikes a false note. Ornate, intricate, and patterned their elegance is, nevertheless, ersatz.”
So, what should we make of these shots, taken by Jason Schmidt for the Architectural Digest? Sherman moved into her 19th century farmhouse in East Hampton, New York, about a year and a half ago, and has renovated the property with the help of the designer Billy Cotton and the architect Annabelle Selldorf. She’s furnished the place with some beautiful flea-market finds, as well as contemporary art works by Chris Garofalo and Matthew Solomon, paintings by Wayne White and Bill Komoski, and works by the Bruce High Quality Foundation.
It’s a wonderful creation, and one that seems to suit Sherman. She tells the magazine, “The house has a genuine sense of place, as if it belongs here. After a major year-long renovation, it doesn’t look like we touched a thing. I feel more at home here than any other place I’ve ever been.” Nice to see someone so used to taking on other personas has found a place to just be herself. Over to you James Franco.