NAN GOLDIN "ON THE BEACH, BOSTON" 1974
Nan Goldin (b. 1953) is one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Beginning in the 1970s, Goldin took candid shots of her friends and lovers, characters 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.
The spirit of Goldin's work, which is often raw, tender, and audacious, has strong roots in her formative years. She was introduced to photography at the age of 16. The medium became an important outlet for Goldin. As a teenager she was deeply affected by her sister's suicide. Photography became a way to process and connect with others.
After leaving home Goldin became involved with Boston's Drag scene, befriending or living with a host of young performers and trans women. Over a period of around four years (1970-1974) Goldin documented and depicted her new-found community and crew.
Unlike images created by Diane Arbus, Goldin's photographs possessed an inherent admiration for her subjects and an overarching feeling of joy. Goldin showed her friends in both domestic and social environments with a strong sense of pride and ease. Goldin validates her friends' ambitions or feminine identity and celebrates them as people, as performers, as beauties.
"On the Beach, Boston" is a striking and early example of Goldin's Boston period. It is possibly one of the earliest photos she printed, as she uses her full name Nancy Goldin.
In this black and white photograph, Goldin captures her subject sprawled across a beach-like backdrop. While Goldin's later images are frequently melancholy or dreamy, here there is a surprising playfulness approaching satire. Shoes are strewn about as if to mimic the casual nature of an actual beach, while her subject relaxes under a cartoon-like palm tree affixed to the wall.
While at odds with her typically candid aesthetic, there is an intimacy and DIY glamour that is consistent with Goldin's oeuvre.
This photograph is a paradigm of the poignant and innovative black and white photography of Goldin's early years. This is a rare opportunity to acquire an impressive and early piece by one of the most accomplished photographers of the 20th century.
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“On the Beach, Boston"
Silver Gelatin print
Signed by the artist on verso
10.5"H 7.25"W (image)
14"H 11"W (sheet)
18"H 14.75"W (framed)
Very good condition.
Note: This work is not editioned, typical of photographs printed in this era.
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