Now that we've played on your childhood clown fears with stories of a mysterious clown stalking the streets of a British town, and academic studies on the origin of clown phobias, today we're going for a more artistic angle... but mostly we're just trying to creep you out again. Because, you know, that's what we do.
All images © Cindy Sherman
Artist Cindy Sherman has gained much praise for her stark, unsettling portraits that sometimes transform ordinary people and historic figures into grotesque caricatures.
Her work has been exhibited at the famed Tate Gallery in the UK, and New York's legendary Museum of Modern Art. (Be warned, that second link will lead you to some NSFW images.)
Of course when you hear the words “grotesque caricatures,” your thoughts probably go immediately to clowns anyway, right?
Sherman had the same idea, and focused her lens on some of the creepiest clowns ever depicted.
Many of the portraits are accented with garish cotton-candy colors, which magnify the basic creepiness of the subjects.
“I’d been going through a struggle, particularly after 9/11,” Sherman said in an interview for Tate. “I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say. I still wanted the work to be the same kind of mixture – intense, with a nasty side or an ugly side, but also with a real pathos about the characters – and [clowns] have an underlying sense of sadness while they’re trying to cheer people up.”
“Clowns are sad, but they’re also psychotically, hysterically happy,” Sherman says. “There are a lot of creepy, sad, different emotions that I really like.”
So... what emotions are you feeling right now?