Cindy Sherman & Alfred Hitchcock

The photographer, Cindy Sherman, had an image as a feminist artist. In a trademark practice, she would pose for all of her photographs, dressing up with different costumes, wigs, and makeup in order to portray a wide range of personas and characters. Several of her pieces can be related to scenes in Hitchcock films.

As an artist, Sherman liked the concept of the “Doppelgaenger”, or body double; she also employed the reflection of perceived self through the use of mirrors, a theme which appears in several Hitchcock films. Sherman was also captivated by blondes, another one of Hitchcock’s preferences for leading ladies.

The image below, from Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills collection, reminds me of Norman Bates dressed up as his dead mother in Psycho; both her expression and the lighting are reminiscent of the dark, tense climate of the film.

Roads are a frequent plot device with Hitchcock films, and Sherman was intrigued by them as well. In one of her images she photographs a lone and isolated woman standing on the side of the road waiting for someone to drive by so that she can, presumably, hitchhike a ride. Vertigo, Psycho, and Suspicion all use very distinct driving scenes.

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