Photographer Cindy Sherman, 62, On Inspiration

Photo by Clement Pascal

Photo by Clement Pascal

"Now, after a sabbatical from the studio 'coming to terms with health issues and getting older,' Ms. Sherman, 62, has produced her first new photos in five years. They are more explicitly about herself than ever before — images that confront what aging means to a woman. In the series, which starts May 5 at Metro Pictures gallery in New York, she plays the veteran leading ladies of cinema’s Golden Age, turning herself into avatars of Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and others in their twilight years. 'I relate so much to these women,' she said. 'They look like they’ve been through a lot, and they’re survivors. And you can see some of the pain in there, but they’re looking forward and moving on.'

'I want to start playing with moving images, and we’ll see where I go,' she said, jauntily dressed in plaid Prada trousers and a blue short-sleeve sweater, with her hair in a ponytail. So far, she has no idea if that means directing feature films or coming up with video versions of her still photos.

Ms. Sherman, who described herself as 'single, except for my bird' (a 25-year-old macaw), says that on the romantic front, at least, aging can have benefits. After years of bouncing from relationship to relationship, growing older has also left her more mature — 'in a really good place, in being happy with being single.'

Two decades further on, the artist said she can’t guarantee that she’ll turn out to have more skills as a director, but she’s pretty sure she’ll be better at filling the role: 'In some ways I am better equipped to understand what I want, and to make other people understand what I want as well.'

- Blake Gopnik via The New York Times