February 22, 2018

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Meet Cindy Sherman by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan | SLJ Review

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redstarGREENBERG, Jan & Sandra Jordan. Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon. 64p. bibliog. notes. photos. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781626725201.

Gr 4-8 –The duo’s latest collaboration centers on a contemporary artist so enigmatic that it’s no surprise the authors begin by asking readers, “Who is Cindy Sherman?” The work opens with Sherman’s childhood and early career in New York City before launching into chapters organized around milestone projects/installations (Chapter 4 covers Rear Screen Projections 1980–1981Fairy Tales 1985, and more). Sherman’s iconic photos are reproduced with clarity and quality, with most laid out over a page or half page. The authors break down the myriad personas present in the artist’s body of work and challenge students to consider the relationship between interpretation and meaning and how much weight to give to an artist’s intent (or lack of) when viewing and analyzing art. Egalitarian statements such as “Art is for everyone at every age” lend the book a welcoming tone, and the authors often address readers directly (“Do clothes and hairstyles make us what we are?”) and include quotes from real kids that oftentimes demonstrate the subjective nature of art interpretation. An ending “Production Notes” spread takes this to the next level and guides readers through Sherman’s Untitled #571, 2016, directing their attention to color, texture, line, shape, and focus. VERDICT This fascinating investigation of a significant U.S. artist will prompt endless discussions on art history, photography, pop culture, gender roles, and even selfies. A title not to be missed.–Della Farrell, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

Della Farrell About Della Farrell

Della Farrell is an Assistant Editor at School Library Journal and Editor of Series Made Simple

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