Her opus The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1980–1986) is a slideshow of snapshots set to music that chronicled her life within the subcultures of New York during the 1980s. The Ballad was first exhibited at the 1985 Whitney Biennial, and was made into a photobook the following year. “For me it is not a detachment to take a picture. It's a way of touching somebody—it's a caress,” she said of the medium. “I think that you can actually give people access to their own soul.” - artnet.com
Her lush color photography and candid style demand that the viewer go beyond the surface to encounter a profound intensity. As Goldin writes: “Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the color, smell, sound, and physical presence, the density and flavor of life.” Through an accurate and detailed record of her life, Ballad reveals Goldin’s personal odyssey as well as a more universal understanding of the different languages men and women speak, and the struggle between autonomy and dependency. - aperture.org
In the 1970s, Manhattan’s Lower East Side became the neo-frontier of an adventurous avant garde. Attracted by the cheap rents and dilapidated housing, grass-roots art collectives and club promoters moved in and began staging ad hoc art and music events. Before long this deprived area became synonymous with radical experimentation and transgression. One photographer who witnessed this explosion of creativity was Nan Goldin. Her documentation of the time is now seen as a swansong to this heady era. - artist.christies.com
Nancy "Nan" Goldin (born September 12, 1953) is an American photographer. She lives and works in New York City, Berlin, and Paris. Her work usually features LGBT-related themes, images or public figures.Goldin was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in the Boston suburb of Lexington, to middle-class Jewish parents. Goldin’s father worked in broadcasting, and served as the chief economist for the Federal Communications Commission. After attending the nearby Lexington High School, Goldin left home at 13-14. She enrolled at the Satya Community School in Lincoln, where a teacher, philosopher Rollo May’s daughter, introduced her to the camera in 1968.
It's so rare to see a woman's sexuality, real female sexuality, either in the shows or in the clothes.
I just get inspired to take a picture by the beauty and vulnerability of my friends.
My work shows the beauty in so many different kinds of people because I never photograph anyone who I don't think is beautiful. I never take an intentionally mean picture.
I knew from a very early age, that what I saw on tv had nothing to do with real life. So I wanted to make a record of real life. That included having a camera with me at all times.
Yes, photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary, traumatic, I survive by taking pictures.
My desire is to preserve the sense of people’s lives, to endow them with the strength and beauty I see in them. I want the people in my pictures to stare back.
My pictures were always misunderstood as having a sexual theme.
I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I've lost.