Cindy Sherman: Me, myself and I
She is the star of her own photographs but claims they aren't autobiographical. Cindy Sherman talks to Simon Hattenstone about family, break-ups, $1m pictures… and why she can't keep herself out of her art.
I give Cindy Sherman the once-over. Then the twice- and thrice-over. I know I'm staring more than is right but I can't help myself. I'm looking for clues. Sherman is one of the world's leading artists – for 30 years, she has starred in all her photographs – and yet the more we see of her, the less recognisable she is. She's a Hitchcock heroine, a busty Monroe, an abuse victim, a terrified centrefold, a corpse, a Caravaggio, a Botticelli, a mutilated hermaphrodite sex doll, a man in a balaclava, a surgically-enhanced Hamptons type, a cowgirl, a desperate clown, and we've barely started. In front of me is an elegant woman with long, blond hair and soft features. She's stylish – black jodhpurs, thick, white sweater, Chanel boots horizontally zipped at the top to make pockets, and a furry handbag that doubles as a great golden bear. She looks much kinder than in many of her photographs. She also looks petite – until you notice the big, strong arms: she used to box. She will be 57 next week.