Cindy Sherman vs. T-Shirt Ninjas

May 4, 2007

I love this post by Tom Moody: he compares Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills with web cam shots of T-Shirt Ninjas. That’s 1979 vs 2002. Well played, Mr. Moody, this is a great pairing. I just realized that I actually spent more time looking at the ninjas.

There is a free-form use of text in the ninja pix that is almost like folk art. Even the most flippant text in contemporary art feels heavy in comparison, loaded with significance.

The ninjas are borrowing from print and television marketing models, which almost always have text together with imagery. The ninjas naturally include their own strap lines and slogans. Their pictures are participatory advertisements, not film stills. Maybe this subtly suggests a blurring: to communicate is now to publicize.

p.s. See Tom’s reply to the above post here. I’m still thinking, expect more smack soon.

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