4 Fascinating Highlights From Cindy Sherman's Broad Audio Tour

With Sherman's first L.A. show in 20 years at the Broad comes this preview of the accompanying audio tour that features celebrity collectors and friends from John Waters and Jamie Lee Curtis to Molly Ringwald as they comment on fake vaginas, society dames and sex clubs.

The lines stretching around the block since The Broad opened its doors last September are about to get a lot longer when Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life opens June 11. The renowned artist is being honored with her first major show in Los Angeles in 20 years, and it includes 120 pieces of her work.

With so many of her photographs inspired by cinema and representations of women in media, it’s no wonder that Sherman counts numerous devotees and collectors among such celebrities as Molly Ringwald, John Waters, Gaby Hoffmann, Miranda July and Jamie Lee Curtis, all of whom provided commentary on the museum’s audio tour. Highlights of their takeaways from one of the world’s finest living contemporary artists include:

1. Miranda July finds the fake vagina in one of the photos uncomfortable-making.The actor-writer-artist has some interesting squick issues with Untitled 264, a figure with artificial genitalia wearing a bondage mask. “When I look at it, it's interesting because ... you're mixing real and unreal," says July on the audio tour. "Of course, you would want this fake vagina here in the middle, and all the desirable parts accounted for: the boobs, the crown, the hair, the hand with nail polish over on the side. [But] you're kind of trying to find ground to stand on. Like, what can I trust here? And you feel silly for feeling anything towards fake boobs and a fake vagina. in the context of a photograph, how are they that much less real? Is it maybe more grotesque?”

2. Transparent's Gaby Hoffmann grew up in Cindy Sherman's studio. Hoffman spent her childhood in New York's Chelsea Hotel living with her mom Viva Hoffmann, who appeared in Andy Warhol's movies, and her mother's ex-husband, Michel Auder, an artist who later married Sherman, with whom Gaby was close. "I spent a lot of time in Cindy's studio as a kid amongst her wigs and props and mannequins and makeup and costumes," says Hoffmann. "I was sort of always surrounded by the work in its disassembled state. I think that my sense of beauty was shaped by her in some way too around this. It’s what's kind of exciting and interesting and fun and new and fresh. Which, you know, is different than what we're told is beautiful, which is pretty limited."

3. Ten years after setting trends in Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald donated clothes while acting in 1997's Sherman-directed Office KillerRecalls the actress on the audio tour: "We completely hit it off at the first meeting and I absolutely wanted to be a part of it from the get go. The budget was really low and Todd Thomas, the costume designer, had I think, literally, $15 for each character. I ended up giving a lot of my wardrobe just from my own closet. One of the directions that Cindy gave when I first brought my clothes in — I had a lot of black, very New York sort of urban, what I considered to be very young, sophisticated officewear — she said, “Oh, no, no, no. No black, no black. She can't wear black at all. She has to wear color. She's all color."

4. A favorite Sherman character of director John Waters is one he imagines would accompany you to a sex club. Says Waters about Untitled 474 featuring a woman in front of walls filled with art, from the Society Portrait series of well-to-do women: "I like this woman. This woman has many, many homes. She has a great collection. She's funny. She looks kind of great. This woman would go with you to a sex club."