NAN GOLDIN "CODY IN THE DRESSING ROOM" 1991
Nan Goldin (b. 1953) is one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Beginning in the 1970's Goldin took candid shots of her lovers and friends - especially drag queens and trans women, characters often living on the margins of society, in New York City and beyond.
"Cody in the Dressing Room at the Boy Bar, NYC” is a paradigm of Goldin's work from the early 1990’s celebrating both nightlife and its beautiful denizens.
The photograph shows Cody, semi-nude and confidently posing for Goldin, as they either unwind after or are preparing for a performance. Situated in a dressing room signalled by the mirror, makeup and clothes strewn around. Behind Cody is a silver grid of black and white portraits taped to the wall, reminiscent of Warhol’s famous screen tests, and a reminder of Goldin's exceptional composition. Furthermore, the image is cropped right above the subject's waist leaving their actual gender ambiguous if not irrelevant.
Today, images of drag queens and glamorous trans woman are increasingly common in Western culture, considering the success of TV shows such as Rupaul's Drag Race, Legendary or Pose. However during the early 1990's, at the climax of the AIDS crisis, images celebrating queer performers were both brave, uncommon and transgressive.
This photograph appears in Goldin's book “The Other Side '' which celebrates drag queens and trans women, originally published in 1993. It is an important document that provides an uplifting counterpoint to the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic with the glamour, courage and vibrancy of the drag and trans communities.
Exhibition history: "Nan Goldin: Reflections Through a Golden Eye 1975-1998" March 21-April 18, 1998 at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.
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"Cody in the Dressing Room at the Boy Bar, NYC 1991"
Cibachrome print, flush-mounted
Titled, signed and dated on the verso
From an edition of 25
26.25"H 38.5"W (work)
28.25"H 41.25"W (framed)
Very good condition
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