MAC Makeup’s awesome new collaboration!

by Meg on August 26, 2011

Did you hear? MAC is collaborating with legendary photographer Cindy Sherman! (source)

Why is Cindy Sherman so damn important, and why is this collaboration amazing?

For many many reasons – one of them being the manner in which Sherman uses her art as a mirror for representations of women and in contemporary culture. Last year I wrote a piece for a now defunct blog about a small Cindy Sherman exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art (or ICA) here in Boston. I’m pasting part of it below:

The ICA has a small collection of various pieces, including a few from the set, “Untitled Film Stills” I also enjoyed this part of the day because I got to play smarty-pants to the professional artist in the group (who was not familiar with Sherman’s work). On first glance, my friends weren’t so entirely sure about why I was drawn to Sherman’s work, so I explained: “look closely – do you see any similarities between the subjects in the different shots there…(I waited for them to look at me, confused)…they’re all her!” I went on, enthusiastically: “she’s not just an artist in that she’s a photographer, but she’s a skilled illusionist as well. She uses prosthetics, makeup, wigs, and costumery to create different personas – she’s both artist and subject.” I admire Sherman’s work because it’s quite meta – the artist creating the visual persona or character and then staging and composing the scene before moving on to the more traditional medium, photography.

I love the idea of Cindy Sherman as one of the many faces of MAC cosmetics. To me, Sherman’s inclusion among entertainers and individualists such as RuPaul, Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, and others, says that MAC views makeup as more than mere vanity. It’s a tool by which we, the wearers, can artistically reinvent ourselves on a daily basis.

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