Identity Research

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman - Copy

I admire the work of Cindy Sherman as she presents the different characteristics of person to the public via a camera showing the way that women were, for example in the film era similarly I would like to create the juxtaposition of male and female roles in the way one would identify gender. The social field is very broad because she could look very ironically female or she could look like a drag queen, for example: identifying the way women are objectified in film. The scene of the photographer and the photograph in which she is the sitter, she engages with the camera tells her story through how she wants the picture to be taken with the camera, how she acts in front of the camera, to represent the role she wishes to. The destination to the viewer is probably not something that social norms would appreciate as a radical syntax, but individually perhaps they would be appreciated very much. The challenge of likeness is very much achieved by her the way that she wants to be and the precision she has used to apply her makeup, dressed and posed herself to look like a film star therefore her physical likeness is akin despite the fact she may not be naturally. Perceived in this way.

Cindy has succeeded in achieving that iconic presentation of likeness. The spirit of Cindy Sherman is very strong within this photograph as we see the embodiment of character portrayed as a film star and as a photographer superbly delivering and what she is trying to portray to the media.

Helmut Newton


I would like to capture the contrast Helmut creates as its defined, the white, greys and blacks, I adore this and would like to recreate this myself in my photographs, I also love that the people look glorified and spectacular with lots of depth and wonder if I can achieve this within my photographs.

Robert Mapplethorpe


I love the syntax Robert used to identify gender, social norms and roles. I very much like the hazy tones used as it captures the softness of the human skin we are given an idealised form of the human body which should not offer the need to question as to which gender the subject is akin to, they are historically stereotypical bodies of that gender. I would like to do a similar syntax to identify gender, the social norms and the roles that are gender specific.

John Stezaker

John S

I love the way a male and female is split in half, yet faces both line up but essentially define the characteristics of both sexes. A haircut, a face shape, bone structure, dress sense and emotion, embodying all different aspects of the segregated genders depict.


Claude Cahun

I love the fact that Claude dresses in a male and female role , identifying the roles and gender and the identity shift within the genders. She identifies the social field and the historical social norms and the uneasiness in which some may feel towards these photographs. The juxtaposition that these photographs create highliging the destination. challenging  the likeness of oneself through gender, it can question the comtempoanuos views that some people who are born into a genda perhaps don’t embrace the characterisics of the gender nature has asigned them the gender within them and Claude successfully identifies this notion. These are radical syntaxes of unconventional, cultured portraits depicting detonation of the photographer.

Karlheinz Weinberger


I love the identification of the male gender and the way we look at the Nazi henchmen who poses with his legs widely open gazing away from the camera, with; an open denim jacket, denim jeans, with a cross on a chain, wearing a helmet, displays lots of facial hair, muscular contours in evidence and holding a tight fist. He is so engulfed in his own little world that he becomes oblivious to the outside world. He almost looks like an idealised gentleman not displaying an ungentlemanly demeanour. It may represent how we identify masculinity, it’s quite deep dark and intimidating as an image, but I would like to pay tribute as this represents the preconceived idea of male imaging.

Diane Arbus

Diane - Copy

Diane Arbus’ work loves to break out of the ordinary social norms of what the world finds beautiful capturing an alternative concept, she photographs them and engages them in a way of freeing the spirt by getting them to relax and feel an intimacy between her and the sitter. She was then able to capture their essence, thus delivering so that we have a notion of the person within the photograph which makes it so enriched with glorious characterisation. She has a fantastic tonal range within the black-and-white, the model in this image is very much posed, but ultimately beautiful and yet though we see a man dressed as a woman we perhaps are more tolerate of things that have been historically deemed deviant. Diane Arbus was very good at showing the differences between identifying differences within gender. Similarly, I would like to capture this in my captures.

Barbara Kruger

Barbara - Copy

Barbara uses a strong message captured within the photographs, feminists use this type of propaganda to convey their feeling of inequality. Express that needs something to be done, suggesting the need for change and highlighting the culturally evident perceived ideas. The concept that both are equal is still far from fully achieved. I like the use of three block colours black, white and red. Barbara offers a medium of empowerment to a culture and a gender that she wants to enable change I would like to pay tribute as I would like to endorse this ethos the disproportionate inequality of both genders defined by social norms and stereotypes and a generalisation in which media portrays us.


Zed Nelson


I love this image because it makes you question how you have already preconceived ideas, the contrast between the relationship between the mind and the body, how they are represented to fit social norms, the idealisation of the human body whether there is a cross over between feminine and masculine qualities to feel comfortable in his culture and society. Whether he is natural, but enhanced to display a perceived ideal individual. I would really like to represent an idealisation of femininity and masculinity within my photographs using the concept of this photograph to inspire me. I would also like to show how the body can be manipulated by pose to achieve a specific look.


Rik Garrett’s


The work is very much work of symbolism. Of dark surrealism, magically evoking a strange goddess, ghost femininity. I love how the textured negative captured the feel here, the use of the strong contrast to bring such a lovely depth into the soft skin, jagged and decaying trees. I would love to capture a similar feeling within my images by having scratches and marks across the negatives. Represented the aged effect. I love this video as it shows just how we perceive people and subsequently judge them for either not wearing any makeup or applying too much. The way we create anxiety if we are not perceived in the way we wish to be. This is not gender specific it happens within both genders my aim is to illustrate how people try to fit into the conventional norms. I love that this video as it captures the style and shows how best this concept is delivered. Showing the techniques to transform yourself into someone you perceive is enviable and beautiful and I’m consequently inspired to create different characters.

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