I hate to even call this “Art Candy” because Nan Goldin is definitely not sweet. Not at all. Gaining notoriety for difficult works like drug use, physical abuse, and – well – getting crazy, in the literal sense of the word, her work has been gratuitous, graphic, and intense. Her most famous work “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” documents the punk scene of NYC’s Bowery from 1979 – 1986.
But even with all that said, there is a paradoxically serenity quality about much of her work. Perhaps it is the 3 am quiet after a night of partying or the resultant stillness the morning after. Perhaps it is a brief glimpse you catch of yourself in a mirror as you are surrounded by people you casually know. Either way, there is a deep connection that Goldin makes with her viewer and an intimacy with her subjects that feels voyeuristic.
Very different from “Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” in 2011, she “sold out” according to some fellow photographers by shooting ads for shoe designer Jimmy Choo’s “Icons” line.
Now in her 60’s, Goldin has released 9 new self-portraits at the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco which will be on display until March 8th. Each work is taken in a different location, both in the US and in Europe and shows Goldin as a thinker, a traveler, and a sexual being.