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January 23, 2014


Filed under: nan goldin — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 7:04 am

I caught an exhibit of NAN GOLDIN”S work at the MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY in New york.  I had never seen her work before and really fell in love with it.  So interesting for me to think how artists can express themselves through so many different mediums!

If you have the chance to cathch this show, go.  her personal history resonates throughout her work.




Nan Goldin is known for documenting her surrogate family of friends as they engage in intimate, uninhibited, or illicit activities. These unusually lit images are frank confrontations with personal experience, frequently presented in poses that mimic the styles of the fashion world.

Goldin visited that world through photographs she took for a New York Times Magazine cover story – “James is a Girl,” by Jennifer Egan – that appeared on February 4, 1996

Nan Goldin has spent more than twenty-five years creating edgy portraits. In 1996 these startlingly direct color images were the subject of a mid-career retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which traveled to Winterthur, Germany;

Vienna; and Amsterdam, among other international venues. She has earned the Mother Jones Photography Award, a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maine Photographic Workshop Book Award for Documentary Book of the Year.

Ms. Goldin, 58, moved to Paris in 2000 and has become a darling of the French to rival Jerry Lewis and Mickey Rourke. The Pompidou Center mounted a retrospective in 2001, and in 2006 she was named a commander of the

Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. But she said that being granted a private audience with the Louvre — “We ran around in there barefoot; there was absolutely nobody around” — brought a feeling of French acceptance unlike any she’d had before.

And the Louvre also quickly taught her, she said, that many of her artistic obsessions are ones that have been to central Western art history, and to myth and religious iconography — sex, violence, rapture, despair and the slippery

nature of gender. She gravitated toward representations of the mythological tales popularized by Ovid, like the second-century Roman marble “The Sleeping Hermaphrodite “whose male genitals come as a surprise to viewers

approaching the curvaceous female form from the back. first became known involved transvestites and

More than half of the photographs by Ms. Goldin that she paired with Louvre imagery have never been exhibited before, and many were unearthed from her New York archives in a painstaking search by one of her assistants.

But other pictures were resurrected by Ms. Goldin herself. An obsessive series of photographs she took of a former lover named Siobhan were included after Ms. Goldin re-established contact and the woman, now married and a mother,

agreed to allow many never-before-seen images to be shown, “which is great,” Ms. Goldin said, “because it had been pretty painful for a lot of years not to show them.” Those photographs and many of the others she chose ended up creating a

collective portrait more joyous than the kinds Ms. Goldin is known for. “It really became a work about love,” she said, one propelled by the love she felt inside the museum.

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