Category Archives: Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin – The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

My tutor suggested I take a look at Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

Nan’s work is an intimate look at relationships between herself, her family and friends, and the New York subculture of the late 70s/early 80s. Her work is in colour and captures the closeness and distance of the relationships in a candid but also, in some cases, upsetting way.

Things that appeal to me about Nan’s collection include:

  • Her use of colour – primary colours, especially red, are key.
  • The honesty and emotion she captures – both positive and negative feelings
  • Her bravery in the choice of images for the collection
  • The use of skin exposure to denote vulnerability in some images and sexual confidence in others.
  • Her choice of framing of parts of the body – eg the caesarean scar, and some of the more sexual images

I understand that the exhibition was initially (in 1985) a slide show set to a soundtrack of music by Velvet Underground, James BrownNina SimoneCharles AznavourScreamin’ Jay Hawkins and Petula Clark.  As someone who often hears a soundtrack to my own life in my head, I like the idea of exhibiting work in this way – in fact, I have done before with a burlesque photoshoot I completed.

There are various links to extracts from her work online – these are the ones I looked at: