Nan Goldin

This iconic photographer captured day-to-day queer life in the 1980s. In 2022, he became the talk of the art world after the release of the documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. In this Artist's Artist, we take a look at her backstory.

How many worlds exist alongside your own? 

Nan Goldin’s camera lens has always been turned towards the lives invisible to the mainstream. 

Born in 1953, Nan rose to prominence in the early ‘80s for her intimate snapshots of queer life.

Photograph of two drag queens in the back of a taxi

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, 1991

Photograph of two people on a bed, one laying down on sat upright

Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC, 1982

The photos were originally presented as slideshows set to music. And her first audiences were the friends and chosen family that she photographed.

Nan’s perspective gained political significance as LGBTQI+ communities were ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. 

If silence equalled death, then so did invisibility. Nan illuminated a hidden queer world with vivid flash photography  in all its pain and glory.

photograph of a man kissing an AIDS patient on the nose while he lies in a hospital bed

Gotscho kissing Gilles, Paris, 1993

Photograph of a drag queen on a street in New York, police officer in the background

Misty in Sheridan Square, NYC, 1991

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