- Cindy Sherman
- Untitled #415
- Edition 1 of 6
- Chromogenic print
Cindy Sherman: Clowns (Munich, 2012), unpaginated
Paul Moorhouse, Cindy Sherman (London, 2014), p. 136
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In these sinister and arresting portraits, Sherman exaggerates the contemporary popular depiction of the menacing clown, with a painted face that obscures a true, malicious intent or dark emotion. In Untitled #145, she does so with three subtle references: the face paint, similar to that of Batman’s supervillain The Joker; a bowler hat and straitjacket-like belt, reminiscent of those worn by the ultra-violent gang in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange; and the nearly black background, an anomaly for this series in which she usually posed in front of a psychedelic backdrops. The present clown holds not a lighthearted balloon animal, but rather an unidentified pink drink which looks more like Pepto-Bismol or poison than soda fit for children. As she did in her earlier series (such as Headshots, Lots 17 and 45), Sherman remains just visible enough underneath her makeup and clothes, reminding us that outward expression and inner psychology are not so distant from each other.
This series was first exhibited at Metro Pictures Gallery in New York in 2004 and quickly became one of her most iconic. At the time of this writing, no other print of this image is believed to have been offered at auction.