Cindy Sherman. Untitled #123. 1983

Cindy Sherman Untitled #123 1983

  • Not on view

Sherman's work, with its references to cinematic stills, fashion shoots, and painting, signals the vitality of a new photographic tradition—one that has profoundly affected the vocabulary of contemporary art. In her fashion photographs, such as Untitled #123, Sherman has created the antithesis of a seductive high-fashion veneer. Her first series, commissioned by shop owner Diane Benson in 1983 for a spread in Interview magazine, was followed by pictures for designer Dorothée Bis for French Vogue in 1984 and editorial work for Harper's Bazaar in 1993, among other projects. In these pictures the artist introduces mock grotesqueries, such as false teeth, exaggerated makeup, and unflattering poses, to dent the desirability of the product by emphasizing its contrived look. Just as her Untitled Film Stills (1977–80) probed cliché-ridden female characters filched from 1950s B movies—the ingenue, the chic starlet, the flirtatious librarian—Untitled #123 parodies the mannerisms of codified female beauty championed in fashion ads by mimicking their appeal.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 46.
Chromogenic color print
35 3/16 x 24 3/8" (89.4 x 62 cm)
Gift of Barbara and Eugene M. Schwartz
Object number
© 2019 Cindy Sherman

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to