Saw these new photographs by Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures in Chelsea. They construct throwbacks to the cracked and glamorous masks worn by wealthy, ageing, independent women from the 1920s. The pictures all carry the uniform title, Untitled 2016. They are all dye sublimation metal prints.
If I’m understanding this correctly here from the website of Griffin Editions, I’m learning that:
“Dye Sublimation Prints (or Metal Prints), are a new medium where dyes are directly transferred into the aluminum. The result is stunning with vibrant color and a unique dimensional quality.
Sublimation is the process of a solid turning to gas and back to solid. We print with dyes onto unique transfer paper, then heat the paper and specially coated metal with high pressure and temperature in our custom press.
Dye sublimation prints are durable because the dyes are below the coated surface, resulting in a fade and scratch resistant piece. The aluminum (.045 thickness) can stand alone, be backed with any of our substrates, braced or framed.”
Sherman is famous for turning the female figure into a technical artifice. Dye sublimation metal prints only up the ante. Invested with an idea of no little symbolic cruelty, it is a terrible and absolutely crazy thing to do to a human face. These are as sharp a photographic image as one can now get.