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Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin
1953

Artist Nan Goldin’s intimate photographic portraits of friends and lovers document her involvement in the New York City post punk new wave musical climate of the 70s and 80s and notably, gay and transvestite subcultures. Some of Goldin’s most famous series of works include The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, I'll Be Your Mirror, Fire Leap, All By Myself, Scopophilia and her Self Portrait works some of which have been turned into books and films. One of Nan Goldin’s works was famously removed by police from the Baltic Modern Art gallery in Newcastle which was showing a collection of art by Sir Elton John on suspicion it may have breached child pornography laws.

Nan Goldin is an American photographer born in Washington, D.C., and she grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first solo show, held in Boston in 1973, was based on her photographic journeys among the city's gay and transsexual communities, to which she had been introduced by her friend David Armstrong. Nan Goldin graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1977, where she had worked mostly with Cibachrome prints.

Her private dramas are captured indoors, using artificial light and, as cibachrome prints, they appear sharp and vibrantly colourful. These snapshots of downtrodden urban life explore love, gender, sexuality but deal with drug and alcohol addiction and violence. Nan Goldin’s work is candidly autobiographical, describing collection The Ballad of Sexual Dependency as ‘the diary that I let people read’. Work from this phase focused on her friends with AIDs and her own drug rehabilitation whereas later work featuring friends and family is less harrowing in its themes, but characteristically frank and sincere.

In 2003, The New York Times nodded to the work's impact, explaining Nan Goldin had ‘forged a genre, with photography as influential as any in the last twenty years.’ In addition to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, she combined her pictures into other series including I'll Be Your Mirror (from a song on The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground & Nico album) at the Whitney Museum, New York. She has also collaborated with famed renowned Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and won the Hasselblad award in 2007.

Buy signed limited edition photographs and prints by Nan Goldin at Opus Fine Art; the home of Contemporary art.

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Nan Goldin:
Jen's Hand on Clemens' Back, Paris
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Valerie in the Taxi, Paris
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Guido Floating, Levanzo, Sicily
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