Nan Goldin was born in 1953 in Washington DC, she works and lives in New York and Paris. Goldin started taking photographs in Boston when she was a teenager; capturing black-and-white photographs of drag queens, her friends and family, both celebrating and giving a voice to the subcultural lifestyle of her community. In the 1990s Goldin used photography to record her travels in Asia as well as the troubled lives of her friends, many of whom died of AIDS.
Nan Goldin is known as an artist whose output is inextricably linked to her own biography and for breaking down the traditional barrier between the camera and the object photographed. Her naturally lit images document her surrogate family of friends and lovers, and – more often than not – are frank confrontations with personal experiences and explorations of both intimacy and alienation.
Following her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of New York (1996) where her slideshow 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency' was presented, Nan Goldin’s reputation grew, now she is recognised as one of the world’s most important living photographers. Subsequently another retrospective was organised by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2001).
Recent solo exhibitions by the artist include La Triennale, Milano (2017); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2017); MoMA, New York (2016); MAM, Museu de arte Moderna, Brazil (2012); the Nederland Fotomuseum, The Netherlands (2010) and NOMA, Louisiana (2009). In 2008, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was shown in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London.
Goldin’s work has become part of major collections such as that of MoMA, New York; Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Guggenheim, New York; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Metropolitan, New York; ICA The Institute Of Contemporary Art, Boston; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Modern, London.