No photographer has crafted such a complex negotiation between viewer and subject, societal attitudes to gender, and questions of identity through self-portraiture as
This image comes from the second series of Sherman’s foray into color. If the first series, which depicted her against rear-screen projections, evokes a bygone era of film and television, this series explores the way women are presented in pornographic magazines. Commissioned for Artforum, each photograph was to appear across a double-page spread in the style of Playboy centerfolds. Shot in close-up, an approach she would continue to employ in subsequent projects, Sherman is always seen looking off to the side. The vantage point of the viewer accentuates the vulnerability of this subject.
In this image, Sherman uses orange to almost kitsch effect, with her skirt raised to expose part of her thigh, hinting at violation. Her expression could be read as pensiveness; the personal ad in her hand suggests that she has just made, or is about to make, a call. The photograph goes beyond mere parody of the form, with Sherman questioning both the representation and the reception of such imagery.