Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin - Photographer and Artist.

Goldin was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in an upper-middle-class Jewish family in Boston, Massachusetts. She attended the nearby Lexington High school and right after she graduated, she enrolled at the Satya Community school in Lincoln. This is where a teacher of hers introduced her to the camera in 1968. At the time, Goldin was fifteen years old and already found her passion in life: Photography. Her first solo show, held in Boston in 1973, was based on her photographic journeys in the city’s gay and transsexual community. She had been introduced to that community by her friend David Armstrong. Goldin graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1977. That is when she started working mostly with Cibachrome prints.
After her graduation from college, Nan Goldin moved to New York City. She started documenting the post-punk and new-wave music scene. She was especially drawn to the drug subculture of these new scenes, as you can see in her famous work, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. This work not only included the drug scene, but also showed violence, physical abuse in relationships, like the one she had with Brian her lover. She also photographed the intimacy between lovers and the intimacy of death. She had many friends that died from drug overdose or AIDS and she took photos of them on their death beds with their loved ones.
Goldin still lives in New York and sometimes in Paris. In 2006, Nan made an exhibition called Chasing a Ghost. It included a dramatic three-screen slide and video presentation called Sisters, Saints, & Sybils which was a work involving her sister Barbara’s suicide and how she handled the difficult situation through a numerous amount of images and narratives.

Nan Goldin is one of the riskiest photographers out there. She is called an American photographer unafraid of photographing the raw truths of the real world. She is not scared of the critique she will receive and she delves deep into the underworld of the cities she lives in; Boston and New York City. She is not afraid to photograph drugs and sex and death, as well as transsexual and gay men and women, people who were not so documented at the time in photographs. She finds the beauty in the coldest and darkest situations.

- Diane Arbus
- Imogen Cunningham
- Helen Levitt
Lisette Model
Cindy Sherman

These are just some of the many photographers that came before and greatly inspired Nan Goldin.
Nan brought a sort of fearlessness to the photography world. She was not afraid, as I said earlier of taking pictures of the underworld. Such as drugs abuse, violence, sex, and death. She is a powerful photographer who’s images resonate deeply to everyone who sees them.

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