Sherman photographs herself parodying female stereotypes—here she poses as the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus. Her stoic posture and demurely downcast eyes, her blue mantle, and the lace backdrop all imitate the conventions of northern Renaissance painting, yet the plastic breast awkwardly affixed to her chest and her creased robes betray the artificiality of the photograph. Sherman has explained, "I was getting disgusted with the attitude of art being so religious or sacred." She wanted to make something "that anyone off the street could appreciate. . . . I wanted to imitate something out of the culture, and also make fun of the culture as I was doing it."
Gallery label from What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, July 7–September 17, 2007 .