Photography

Goldin, Nan (1953)

When her sister committed suicide, Nan Goldin decided she would never want to loose the memory of anyone, anymore and promptly became obsessed with photography. An art student in Boston, she met David Armstrong who would become her first muse and guide her within the underground world of New York as he turned into a drag queen. In 1979, she presented her first slideshow in a nightclub and her deeply colored, personal, spontaneous and sexual snap-shot-like photographs of her family, friends and lovers were soon observed as a subversive alternative to fine arts photography. « The Ballad of Sexual Dependency » is the name she gives to her ever-evolving work compromised of more than 800 photographs with such themes as nightlife, drugs, violence, sexuality but also death. Not a mere depiction of subversiveness, Nan Goldin’s photographs capture life and the authentic, crude humanity of her subjects - herself after having been beaten by her boyfriend or her entourage dying from AIDS in the 1980s - with the help of strong sensual lights, blurred images and unusual framings - ‘Nothing is calculated’. The witness of a society consumed by drugs and AIDS, Nan Goldin is a survivor as well as her visual journal that despite its dark atmosphere, is a universal tribute to human nature.

Nan Goldin, Patrick and Teri on their wedding night, NYC, 1987
Nan Goldin, Patrick and Teri on their wedding night, NYC, 1987
Nan Goldin, Amanda on My Fortuny, Berlin, 1993
Nan Goldin, Amanda on My Fortuny, Berlin, 1993
Nan Goldin, Birds flying into the sun, Malibu, 2006
Nan Goldin, Birds flying into the sun, Malibu, 2006
Nan Goldin, Brian on my bed with bars, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, Brian on my bed with bars, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, Buzz and Nan at the Afterhours, New York City. 1980
Nan Goldin, Buzz and Nan at the Afterhours, New York City. 1980
Nan Goldin, Clemens at Lunch at Cafe de Sade, Lacoste, France, 1999
Nan Goldin, Clemens at Lunch at Cafe de Sade, Lacoste, France, 1999
Nan Goldin, Cookie at Tin Pan Alley, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, Cookie at Tin Pan Alley, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, Couple in Bed, Chicago, 1977
Nan Goldin, Couple in Bed, Chicago, 1977
Nan Goldin, David by the Pool at the Back Room, Provincetown, 1976
Nan Goldin, David by the Pool at the Back Room, Provincetown, 1976
Nan Goldin, David H. looking down, Zurich, 1998
Nan Goldin, David H. looking down, Zurich, 1998
Nan Goldin, Fatima candles, Portugal, 1986
Nan Goldin, Fatima candles, Portugal, 1986
Nan Goldin, Fog, Brides-les-Bains, France, 2002
Nan Goldin, Fog, Brides-les-Bains, France, 2002
Nan Goldin, Gina at Bruce's dinner party, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Gina at Bruce's dinner party, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Guido on the dock, Venice, 1998
Nan Goldin, Guido on the dock, Venice, 1998
Nan Goldin, Heartbeat, 2000/ 2001
Nan Goldin, Heartbeat, 2000/ 2001
Nan Goldin, Heartbeat, 2000/ 2001
Nan Goldin, Heartbeat, 2000/ 2001
Nan Goldin, In train Jessica admires Simon, France, August 2001
Nan Goldin, In train Jessica admires Simon, France, August 2001
Nan Goldin, Ivy in the Boston Garden, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Ivy in the Boston Garden, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Ivy in the Boston Garden, back, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Ivy in the Boston Garden, back, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Jimmy Paulette on David's Bike, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Jimmy Paulette on David's Bike, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Joana and Aurele in bed, Le Lutetia, Paris, 1999
Nan Goldin, Joana and Aurele in bed, Le Lutetia, Paris, 1999
Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983
Nan Goldin, My room, Halfway House, 1988
Nan Goldin, My room, Halfway House, 1988
Nan Goldin, Joana and Aurele making out in my apartment, NYC, 1999
Nan Goldin, Joana and Aurele making out in my apartment, NYC, 1999
Nan Goldin, Joey at the Love Ball, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Joey at the Love Ball, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Kim and Mark in the Red Car, Newton, 1978
Nan Goldin, Kim and Mark in the Red Car, Newton, 1978
Nan Goldin, Lynette and Donna at Marion's Restaurant, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Lynette and Donna at Marion's Restaurant, NYC, 1991
Nan Goldin, Matt and Lewis in the Tub; Heart-Shaped Ass, Cambridge, 1988
Nan Goldin, Matt and Lewis in the Tub; Heart-Shaped Ass, Cambridge, 1988
Nan Goldin, Max on Cookie’s lap, the Backroom, Provincetown, MA, 1977
Nan Goldin, Max on Cookie’s lap, the Backroom, Provincetown, MA, 1977
Nan Goldin, Mexican wrestler at carnival, Merida, Mexico, 1982
Nan Goldin, Mexican wrestler at carnival, Merida, Mexico, 1982
Nan Goldin, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991
Nan Goldin, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991
Nan Goldin, Nan and Dickie in the York Motel, New Jersey. 1980
Nan Goldin, Nan and Dickie in the York Motel, New Jersey. 1980
Nan Goldin, Anthony by the Sea, Brighton, England, 1979
Nan Goldin, Anthony by the Sea, Brighton, England, 1979
Nan Goldin, Naomi, Marlene and Colette on the Street, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Naomi, Marlene and Colette on the Street, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Honeymoon suite, Berlin, 1994
Nan Goldin, Honeymoon suite, Berlin, 1994
Nan Goldin, Bloody Bedroom in a Squatted House, Berlin, 1984
Nan Goldin, Bloody Bedroom in a Squatted House, Berlin, 1984
Nan Goldin, Honda Brothers in cherry blossom storm, Tokyo, 1994
Nan Goldin, Honda Brothers in cherry blossom storm, Tokyo, 1994
Nan Goldin, Joey as Marilyn, St. Moritz Hotel, Switzerland, 2006
Nan Goldin, Joey as Marilyn, St. Moritz Hotel, Switzerland, 2006
Nan Goldin, Joey at home dressed for Wigstock, 1991
Nan Goldin, Joey at home dressed for Wigstock, 1991
Nan Goldin, Kathe and Edda, Berlin, 1992
Nan Goldin, Kathe and Edda, Berlin, 1992
Nan Goldin, Rise and Monty on the lounge chair, NYC, 1988
Nan Goldin, Rise and Monty on the lounge chair, NYC, 1988
Nan Goldin, Self Portrait in Blue Bathroom, London 1980
Nan Goldin, Self Portrait in Blue Bathroom, London 1980
Nan Goldin, Sharon in the River, Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, 1995
Nan Goldin, Sharon in the River, Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, 1995
Nan Goldin. C.Z. and Max on the Beach, Truro, Massachusetts. 1976
Nan Goldin. C.Z. and Max on the Beach, Truro, Massachusetts. 1976
Nan Goldin, Mary and David hugging, New York City, 1980
Nan Goldin, Mary and David hugging, New York City, 1980
Nan Goldin, Philippe H. and Suzanne kissing at Euthanasia, New York City, 1981
Nan Goldin, Philippe H. and Suzanne kissing at Euthanasia, New York City, 1981
Nan Goldin, Nan one month after being battered, 1984
Nan Goldin, Nan one month after being battered, 1984
Nan Goldin, New York City, c.1983
Nan Goldin, New York City, c.1983
Nan Goldin, Red sky from my window, NYC, 2000
Nan Goldin, Red sky from my window, NYC, 2000
Nan Goldin, Roommate in her chair, Boston, 1972
Nan Goldin, Roommate in her chair, Boston, 1972
Nan Goldin, Ryan in the tub, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1976
Nan Goldin, Ryan in the tub, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1976
Nan Goldin, Samantha, New York City, 1996
Nan Goldin, Samantha, New York City, 1996
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in my pyjamas, The Priory Clinic, London, 2002
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in my pyjamas, The Priory Clinic, London, 2002
Nan Goldin, Yogo putting on powder, 1992
Nan Goldin, Yogo putting on powder, 1992
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in my room, Berlin, 1994
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in my room, Berlin, 1994
Nan Goldin, Winnie and Naomi with fans, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Winnie and Naomi with fans, Boston, 1973
Nan Goldin, Valerie and Bruno: Bodyforms, Paris, 2001
Nan Goldin, Valerie and Bruno: Bodyforms, Paris, 2001
Nan Goldin, Untitled (for Cookie Mueller), 2000
Nan Goldin, Untitled (for Cookie Mueller), 2000
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in party hat, New Years Eve, “Renaissance
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in party hat, New Years Eve, “Renaissance", Malibu, 2005/2006
Nan Goldin, Trixie on the Cot, New York City, 1979
Nan Goldin, Trixie on the Cot, New York City, 1979
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait on the train, Boston -New Haven, 1997
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait on the train, Boston -New Haven, 1997
Nan Goldin, The Hug, NYC, 1980
Nan Goldin, The Hug, NYC, 1980
Nan Goldin, Simon and Jessica kissing in the pool, Avignon, 2001
Nan Goldin, Simon and Jessica kissing in the pool, Avignon, 2001
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait with eyes turned inward, Boston, 1989
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait with eyes turned inward, Boston, 1989
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Philipp on the train, Long Island, NY, 1985
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Philipp on the train, Long Island, NY, 1985
Nan Goldin, Skinhead with child, London, 1978
Nan Goldin, Skinhead with child, London, 1978
Nan Goldin, Smokey car, New Hampshire, 1979
Nan Goldin, Smokey car, New Hampshire, 1979
Nan Goldin, Empty Beds, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1979
Nan Goldin, Empty Beds, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1979
Nan Goldin, In the mirror, 1999
Nan Goldin, In the mirror, 1999
Nan Goldin, Cookie with Max on the hammock, Provincetown, 1977
Nan Goldin, Cookie with Max on the hammock, Provincetown, 1977
Nan Goldin, Heart shaped bruise, 1980
Nan Goldin, Heart shaped bruise, 1980
Nan Goldin, Friend, New York City, 1980
Nan Goldin, Friend, New York City, 1980
Nan Goldin, Kee in bed, East Hampton, 1998
Nan Goldin, Kee in bed, East Hampton, 1998
Nan Goldin, Kiki and Maggie at the Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, Mass., 1985
Nan Goldin, Kiki and Maggie at the Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, Mass., 1985
Nan Goldin, The lonely tree, Malmo, Sweden, 2008
Nan Goldin, The lonely tree, Malmo, Sweden, 2008
Nan Goldin, Chrissie and Sandy on the beach, 1976
Nan Goldin, Chrissie and Sandy on the beach, 1976
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Philipp on a bench, New York City, 1983
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Philipp on a bench, New York City, 1983
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Mark dancing, Lexington, 1979
Nan Goldin, Suzanne and Mark dancing, Lexington, 1979
Nan Goldin, Cookie laughing, New York City, 1985
Nan Goldin, Cookie laughing, New York City, 1985
Nan Goldin, Charlotte Gainsbourg for The New York Times, Paris, 2008
Nan Goldin, Charlotte Gainsbourg for The New York Times, Paris, 2008
close

Share this picture on