Nan and Brian in Bed, NYC

Artist: Nan Goldin (American, born Washington, D.C., 1953)

Date: 1983

Medium: Silver dye bleach print

Dimensions: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.627

Rights and Reproduction: © 1983 Nan Goldin


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. During her first decade of work, from the mid-1970s to the '80s, the artist literally lived with her camera, producing more than 800 images that were originally presented as a slide show with music entitled The Ballad of Sexual Dependency-a cumulative work in the shape of a life. Nan and Brian in Bed is Goldin's signature image and served as the cover image for the book version of The Ballad, a contemporary vision of alienation and romantic discord set in the photogenic squalor of New York's Lower East Side.