Nan Goldin was born in 1953 in Washington D.C. Nan grew up in a middle-class jewish family with a father that worked as the chief economist for the Federal Communications Commission. Due to her early life, she had exposure to tense family relationships, sexuality, suicide and the LGBTQ community. At the age of eleven, Nan’s older sister committed suicide due to the judgment that comes with a woman sexuality in the 60’s and that became a frequent topic of discussion in her home. When Goldin was 14, she began smoking marijuana, started dating an older man, and decided to go to school. It is here that she met a staff member that would later introduce her to the world of photography. Using the pain she felt from her sisters death, Nan turned photography into her coping mechanism.
Nan Goldin’s work is so important to me for a few reasons. For one, the bathtub photography. It is no secret that this is my favorite body of work within her photos. The way she is able to capture such innocence within these photos while also showing sexuality, is just so fascinating to me and incredibly admirable.
Her series on the LGBTQ+ community also is admirable because she was one of the first photographers to, in my opinion, accurately represent the Queer lifestyle within New York.
Nan Goldin broke though many barriers in the photographic and artistic world; barriers that I, for one, am glad have been broken.
All work courteous of Nan Goldin.