London

Nan Goldin, Memory Lost, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 24 minutes 16 seconds.

Nan Goldin, Memory Lost, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 24 minutes 16 seconds.

Nan Goldin

Marian Goodman Gallery | London

I first discovered Nan Goldin’s work when I was a teenager. Her slideshow The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1986–, was a passport to a damaged fairy tale. Her camera lens was a magic mirror that inverted the values of the straight suburban world: ugliness as beauty, the profane rendered sacred.

Like Andy Warhol, Goldin inhabits a downtown world of junkies, drag queens, artists, and prostitutes, bearing witness to their lives with her cool gaze. Unlike Diane Arbus’s images, with their passing flashes of empathy, Goldin’s portraits are of her people. In documenting her adopted family, Goldin’s photographs, in their diaristic intimacy, may be less about looking than about being seen_. _She transforms the lostness of her subjects—banished from the hostile daylight—into something found, by lending an alienated majesty to their hard-lived nocturnal universe.

This show, “Sirens,” was Goldin’s first

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