Nan Goldin


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 friends and lovers, characters, including herself, often living on the margins of society. Many of Goldin's images are like entries from a diary; recording intimate elements from both her daily life and her adventures.  

While Goldin is first known for her portraits, images of interiors are also an important segment of her oeuvre.  "Motel Window, Palenque, Mexico" is striking example from the early 1980's of an ominous bedroom scene lit by an open window. It is another powerful reminder that Goldin is the best American photographer working in color following William Eggleston. 

Goldin's interiors emanate quiet contemplation while still retaining her characteristic off-kilter framing and haze. Contrast and color eclipse a clear mood or narrative. This ambiguous photograph depicts a fat pillow waiting on a lonely bed covered with a thin fitted sheet. Is this space a sanctuary or a cell? Goldin's interiors invite the viewer to construct a narrative; why she is there and what secrets do the walls hold. The only human presence here  is suggested by what has been left behind.

Around the early 2000's Goldin began to travel frequently and her images, while continuing to depict the lives of her community, also became dedicated to the ambiance and romance of a newly discovered city. This image from the first chapter of her career is an important preview of her later work and renewed attention towards interiors. 

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“Motel window, Palenque, Mexico" 

USA, 1982

Dye destruction print, printed 1998

Signed, dated, titled, and numbered by the artist verso

From an edition of 25

38"H 26"W (work)

Very good condition.

Minor wear to frame. 

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