Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nan Goldin

Note: If you click on Look Inside on Amazon it shows you pages not in the book (go figure).

I just had occasion to purchase Phaidon's Nan Goldin, a small, nicely printed and thoroughly handsome little hardcover. It's the perfect entry vehicle for her photography, although of course, I've been aware of it for decades. Why I haven't been thoroughly taken in by her work all this time is hard to say- all the needed requirements are there: dramatic color, compelling compositions and social narratives.

I think my main aversion to her work was primarily my own immaturity dating back to the New Wave days of my youth in NYC. Perhaps, because many of her subjects struck me as bloody poseurs, or was I just jealous of Nan's extended family- even if everyone did look some kind of miserable. Could I be that shallow?

So it was nice to run into this book that reintroduced me to her- and at a price I could  readily afford! I don't think I'll ever fully understand why I've never been more enthusiastic about her work. To this day, I don't know- but it is curious the reasons I give are so thoroughly subjective, not aesthetic. Maybe you're not meant to jump up and down about certain work- just appreciate it.

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