Trannyshack UK - The Photo Book
By James Andrew Yardley

Friday, 20 March 2009

N a n   G o l d i n

Nan Goldin born in Washington, USA, later moved to Boston to attend a nearby high school in the leafy suburbs of Lexington. Her life would have been considered pretty normal up until her sister committed suicide in 1965, from then on Goldin made it her number one priority to photograph every precious moment in her life so that she would never forget them, for some her camera was considered 'the eye that did not forget'.

With some of her friends Goldin then continued to delve into the world around her, contacting members of the gay/lesbian/transvestite community in Boston and documenting their lives in different ways, her first solo work stemmed from these contacts and propelled her after finishing University into moving to New York and continuing your documentary work on the gay and transvestite community. 

Once Goldin moved to New York in the late 1970's/early 1980's her photographic work really began to take shape, no moment too graphic, no moment too raw was to be missed, and it was this limitless approach to photography that really made Goldin's work stand out. The viewer of Goldin's work gets an intimate look into the private lives of the most exciting and wild characters in New York city at the time. Nan Goldin presented the every day life of her friends under the title 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency'.

Nan Goldin presents her work through slideshows and organizes (and re-organizes ) according to her mood and emotions she is feeling towards the photographs she has taken. The main themes of her work in my opinion seem to be love, gender and sexuality, her work often features sexual acts and very graphic images, these however only make her work more fantastic as she photographed the reality of New York city in such a beautiful yet honest way. After drug issues in 1988 and the death of many of her close friends due to Aids, Goldin began to photograph again in her lifes own rhythm and produced various different other pieces of photography. 

I purposely chose Goldin to look at from the biography topics, I feel she has had the most interesting and diverse life, and her photography shows that in so many ways, I love the way she captured the reality and honesty of New York city's Gay and Transvestite life, much like diCorcia's work she has a way of bringing out the beauty in the not so pleasant truth. In particular I liked her photographs of Gay and transexual men which I found incredibly beautiful, something I feel other members of my course let pass them by because of their childish ignorance towards the gay and transexual community. 

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