02 August 2011

Afraid of clowns? Look away now! It’s Cindy Sherman for MAC!

So . . . MAC, the makeup favoured by makeup artists, drag queens and alienated goth teenagers from the suburbs, has taken on the ultimate identity-examining artist to be the face of the brand. That’s right, Cindy Sherman, the New York photographer whose work consists of many permutations of the artist herself in disguise, wearing wigs, prosthetics and costumes is fronting a new campaign. Interesting.

Although she is now in her fifties, Cindy has come through the underground, since studying at art college in the Seventies to become a member of the establishment, showing at top galleries and selling loads. She’s even holder of the record for the highest price paid for a single photograph, which is £2.4m, for a picture earlier this year.

In the MAC campaign she appears in her trademark caricature style – a melancholy clown, an unhappy bewigged purple-lipped lady and smiling but strained looking girl with rosy blusher and heavy fake lashes. The key to the campaign, we thinks (for there have been a couple of naysayers on the internet) is not that the makeup makes Sherman look pretty, or even edgily on-trend, but that it makes her look the opposite, AND that each image is so drastically different, it shows the versatility of the product; which is exactly what a professional makeup artist looks for.

We like the campaign, and think the artist is a perfect foil for the brand. In the past, MAC have used other leftfield figures such as Lady Gaga, Missy Elliott, and drag queen RuPaul to showcase their arty properties, although Cindy maybe the most extreme manifestation of the brand’s outsider image so far. The next excitment to come from the snazzy brand will be a collaboration with avant garde designer, Gareth Pugh

Let us know what you think of the photographs in the box below . . .

-Naomi Attwood

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