Cindy Sherman


I don't like having other people take my photo because I never know what to do with myself and they never know what to do with me.

I'm aware that other photographers are slightly intimidated by shooting me and I can see the challenge. I don't know how to do it any better, unless I'm posing in "character." But I don't like to do that for other people (as Irving Penn once asked me to do) because then I think I might as well have taken the photo myself—what's the point of someone else's vision then?

Sometimes I try to adopt the attitude of "artist at rest" or whatever people expect a portrait of an artist to look like—rough around the edges, quirky. But people are usually surprised that I come across as so "normal." Sometimes I think they're disappointed, they expect someone weird, as much a character as I appear to be in my photos.

Quite often I hate the way I'm revealed in someone else's photo but I think that is a rather universal feeling.

The problem with shooting myself for publicity purposes however, is that I'm such a perfectionist I'll spend a whole day or more on the photo, where someone else who does it can be finished in an hour or less.

I've been collecting these heads since the late 80's when I started using prosthetics and fake body parts. Some were found at flea markets, junk stores or used to be part of a doll or medical mannequin. I'm going to have to mix up my studio after this because now everybody who comes in here is taking shots of these damn heads...