NAN GOLDIN "KATHLEEN WHITE IN HELMUT LANG" 1996
Nan Goldin (b. 1953) is unquestionably one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.
Her career began in the 1970's, as she took candid shots of her lovers and friends. In the 1980's she further documented her social circle, characters often living on the margins of society, in New York City and beyond. Many of Goldin's closest friends appear in numerous images over the years.
This work is a portrait of Goldin's close friend, the artist Kathleen White (1960-2014). The two women shared a mutual attraction to “otherness”, surrounding themselves with fellow outsiders and creative types who built their lives outside of traditional society (i.e. artists, performers, drag queens, LGBT persons). Ultimately their shared friends and communities were deeply impacted by the AIDS crisis of the 1980-90’s.
Goldin captured White with her camera throughout the 90’s when many of their closest friends were succumbing to AIDS in rapid succession. The portraits of White by Goldin reflect the impact of the haunting losses they suffered with a sombre undertone celebrating survival, and dealing with the losses life can offer. The images of White by Goldin are a testament to friendship and survival.
White’s own artistic practice, though she was primarily a painter, began using human hair and wigs to commemorate the dying members of the drag community she loved during this era.
Literature: "What is beauty" by Dorothy Schefer, pg. 44
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"Kathleen Modeling Helmut Lang, NYC, 1996"
C print photograph
Signed, titled, numbered AP 1 and dated by the artist verso.
15.5”H 23.25”W (photograph)
27.5”H 34.25”W (framed)
Very good condition