Nan Goldin American

Not on view

Goldin is best known for her harrowing and bittersweet photographic chronicle of hipster life on the Lower East Side of New York during the 1970s and early 1980s, originally shown as a slide show and later published as a book, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Like her subjects, Goldin operates in the gap between art and life that is the special province of the bohemian—where one’s attitude and attire, relationships and lifestyle are as carefully constructed and dramatically expressed as any work of art. This black-and-white portrait of a drag queen posing with a cigarette in her hand and teddy bear on the bed—made in Boston when Goldin was twenty years old and still signing her photographs “Nancy Goldin”—is a superb example of the artist’s early work and offers insight into the genesis of her unique vision.

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