NEW WAVE NEW BEAT: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
Narrating this collaboration, in which Sherman and Prince photographed each other dressed in matching suits and red wigs for a set of twin portraits, the present work critically interrogates the nature of photography. The medium, typically considered a means of recording fact, is manipulated by both artists to subvert the notion of photography as a conduit of objective truth. The androgynous costume conceals the subject’s true appearance and character, undermining the supposed ‘truthfulness’ of the photographic image. Indeed, by separating this image from the double portrait, Prince has removed it from its original context and bestowed new meaning upon this single image of Sherman. Thus, by incorporating Sherman’s characteristic dress-up practice and Prince’s style of appropriating images in which the figure is often isolated, both artists are creator and subject in this masterfully clever double-twist on authenticity and identity.
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