Sexual Dependency

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Nan Goldin’s famed series ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ is showing at MOMA. There a few selected images from the book on the gallery walls but when you step into the darkness of an additional room you see a series of Goldin’s images appearing one after the other to an imaginative soundtrack that goes from Randy Newman to Velvet Underground via Charles Aznavour. It is strangely hypnotic and reminds you of the wealth of fine images Goldin has created in her career. The pictures of 80’s gay life and celebratory parties, intertwine with those of friends and family with a powerful doze of spousal abuse and addiction throw in for good measure. As they say, all of life is here. She is often compared with Diane Arbus but though I kind of see the connection there is something rawer about her work. In the same way ¬†William Eggleston made us re-imagine what was fitting to be photographed, so Goldin has shown us how our everyday life can be something magical even when it is brutal. I liked her a bit before but this show gave me a greater appreciation of her depth as an artist.

 

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Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC 1982 by Nan Goldin born 1953

 

 

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