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  • Writer's pictureveronicapaini

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #161

Clement Pascal for The New York Times

New York City- late September of 1986

What would you do to follow your dreams?

To continue the pursuit of becoming one of the most renown contemporary artists of our time.

Is there a limit? An unceasing fear?

Success doesn’t happen overnight. And an artist’s hustle is one of admiration.

An indescribable fire, drive, passion that only a few are blessed with.

Amongst these creative master minds is-

Cindy Sherman.

Introducing Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life | The Board

Now why is this travel blogger (me) making Cindy a topic of discussion?


1. She’s a role model to the artist in all of us

2. My mother ( an artist herself ) understood the hustle before her glory days when they crossed paths back in 1986

Before we go on, here’s a spark notes version of my Mum-

Mariola Paini on the cover of Pano Rama

Born in Poland with a tremendous talent she grew up to become an artist. To pursue her master degree in fine arts, she completed her thesis in New York City. However, due to the Cold War slowly surfacing in Poland, she could not return to her homeland. Fast forward to 1986 – My mother decided to leave her passion and go into real-estate, where she chased the 'American Dream'.

New York City Mariola Paini portraits done by a fellow artist friend

As a self-proclaimed “real-estate tycoon,” my mum quickly realized the opportunity for growth and owned multiple properties through-out Manhattan and Long Island.

An interview with Mariola in Suns Newspaper

It was during this time – she became acquainted with Cindy Sherman.

So this is where the magic happens.

My mom was Cindy Sherman’s landlord during the summer of ‘86.

Now it’s evident to almost everyone- living in New York City is equal to selling an arm and a leg. aka for most, ridiculously expensive.

Cindy, as an upcoming artist (i.e. a starving artist), short of cash, couldn’t make rent.

My mother being an artist herself -understood where she was coming from.

Believing in her talent and understanding the constant hustle of an artist, she saw the drive in Cindy Sherman and knew one day she’d make it.

Hence, as a method of payment Cindy gave one of her original art pieces (pictured below) in place of a summer rental check. As both of them understood the appetite necessary behind ‘making it’ in New York City.

Untitled #161 (1986)

From artist to artist this exchange was made – and still today, 33 years later, I have this piece, Untitled #161 in my possession.

Ever since I was a child, I admired the hard work of both of these women, brave and bold.

However, it is time this precious piece Untitled #161 finds a new home to inspire.

Cindy in Times Magazine for 100 Most Influential People

Just two years ago, it was added to Sotheby’s Auction catalogue valuing $10,000-$15,000,

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to directly sell it myself, owner to owner.

Sotheby's Live Auction Program

With that being said, I will be in New York within the next upcoming months and would personally hand over this artwork – just as it happened between my mother and Cindy Sherman back in 1986.

For inquires please email –


Veronica –


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