Nan Goldin is most known for taking “snapshot” photographs and helping create an interest in documenting the counterculture. Most of the people in Goldin’s photographs were close friends or family or herself. Goldin took an interest in photography in her late teens, a few years after her older sister killed herself. Goldin had decided that she would end up the same way if she didn’t leave home and seek a different experience.
Goldin believed that, “You can only speak with true understanding and empathy about what you’ve experienced,” and documented everything about her life. This included parties, drug use, drag shows, abusive relationships, and more. In 1988 Goldin checked herself into a detox clinic for her own addictions and continued to photograph herself.
The thing that I really like about Goldin is that her photographs come across as very real and genuine – because they are. Her photos are incredibly raw and I think that there’s a kind of beauty in capturing these seemingly normal events. I can really agree with Goldin’s quote and I do believe that everyone’s best art, whether it’s photography or something else, comes from within and comes from our own experiences. I think that Goldin took some risks putting her life, and the lives of others, out for everyone to see. Ultimately they paid off.
More information on Goldin can be found at http://www.brain-juice.com/cgi-bin/show_bio.cgi?p_id=88
And a quick warning for nudity, but more photos by Goldin can be found at http://www.picsearch.com/pictures/Celebrities/Artists%20and%20Painters/Artists%203/Nan%20Goldin.html