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Ivy in the Boston Garden: Back

Nan Goldin American

Not on view

While still in college, Nan Goldin spent two years recording performers at the Other Side, a Boston drag bar that hosted beauty pageants on Monday nights. This black-and-white study of Ivy, Goldin’s friend from the bar, walking alone through the Boston Common is one of the artist’s earliest photographs. The portrait evokes the glamorous world of fashion photography and hints at its loneliness. In all of her photographs, Goldin explores the natural twinning of fantasy and reality; it is the source of their pathos and rhythmic emotional beat. A decade after this elegiac photograph, she conceived the first iteration of her 1985 breakthrough color series, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, which was presented as an ever-changing visual diary using a slide projector and synchronized music.

Ivy in the Boston Garden: Back, Nan Goldin (American, born Washington, D.C., 1953), Gelatin silver print

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