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Cindy Sherman and Jewish Stereotypes

In Tablet Magazine, Rachel Shukert visits the Cindy Sherman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and explores the link between Sherman’s work and Jewish stereotypes:

So, I was interested, on this visit, to find myself examining Sherman’s photographs through a Jewish lens, if you’ll pardon the pun. (Was that even a pun?) Jewish culture has always been rife with precisely the type of archetypes Sherman has interrogated; not for nothing does Tevye introduce the villagers of Anatevka each as their own special “types.” From the shtetl we inherited the yenta, the yeshiva bucher, the gonif, the shtarker; the postwar era gave American Jews self-hating punchlines like the JAP and the nebbish; the Soviet Union had its “Rabinovich” jokes and Israel its brash “muscle Jews” who know how to clean a gun and never saw a line they didn’t want to push to the front of. (I even got elbowed out of the way by a couple of them while I was waiting in line to get into the exhibit.)

Type-Faces [Tablet Magazine]

(Image credit: Artnet)

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