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Misty and Joey at Hornstrasse

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Berlin (photographed)

  • Date:

    1992 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Goldin, Nan, born 1953 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Dye destruction print on photographic paper

  • Credit Line:

    Copyright Nan Goldin, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

  • Museum number:

    E.53-1997

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case A4, shelf EDUC, box 14.1

'I don't select people in order to photograph them, I photograph directly from my life. These pictures come out of relationships, not observation'. Nan Goldin, The Other Side, Cornerhouse 1993

Nan Goldin began taking photographs in her late teens, creating a visual diary of her life and the lives of her friends. Personal relationships is a running theme in most of Goldin’s work from the past twenty years and many of her published photographs focus on sexual identity. The relationship between the photographer and subject is clear in her photographs; she neither glamorises nor exploits them. Rather, she captures them undertaking ordinary, everday acts, both private and social.

Goldin’s book, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, was one of the most influential series of photographs of the 1980s. It was originally presented as a slide show accompanied by a soundtrack and brought an intimate, even amateur, approach to photography into the arena of contemporary art. It is a pictorial journey, documenting, with total candour, Goldin’s ‘extended family’ of Bohemian friends, drug addicts, transvestites, clubbers and lovers. The images are particularly powerful because of the photographer's involvement with her subjects over a 20 year period.

Goldin’s earliest photographs were taken whilst she was still a student in Boston. She photographed a group of drag queens who grew to become some of her closest friends. Over twenty years later in New York, Goldin revisited the subject and began documenting the lives of a group of transvestites, but this time in colour. This snapshot of drag queen Misty, reveals Goldin’s signature style and informal approach to photography. The casual composition, paired with the use of direct flash creates a powerful image that highlights Goldin’s relationship with her subjects.

Physical description

A colour photograph depicting the drag queen Misty (Miss Demeanor) and Joey at Hornstrasse, Berlin. Misty, who is visible in the foreground, is wearing a cropped blue wig and black dress. Joey is standing in the doorway and wearing a long blonde wig.

Place of Origin

Berlin (photographed)

Date

1992 (made)

Artist/maker

Goldin, Nan, born 1953 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Dye destruction print on photographic paper

Marks and inscriptions

Signed in black ink on the back 'Nan Goldin'. Inscribed in black ink on the back with title and '6/44'

Dimensions

Height: 41 cm sheet, Width: 51 cm sheet, Height: 33.5 cm image, Width: 49 cm image, :

Object history note

Nan Goldin’s book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was one of the most influential series of photographs of the 1980's. It was originally presented as a slide show accompanied by a rock soundtrack and brought an intimate, even amateur, use of photography into the arena of contemporary art. It is a pictorial journey, documenting, with total candour, Goldin’s ‘extended family’ of Bohemian friends, drug addicts, transvestites, clubbers and battered lovers. The images are particularly powerful because of the photographer's involvement with her subjects over a 20 year period.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Nan Goldin, 'Misty and Joey at Hornstrasse', dye destruction print, printed 1992, published 1996

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1997

Materials

Photographic paper; Dye; Material

Techniques

Dye destruction; Cibachrome; Technique

Subjects depicted

Drag queen; Trans; Drag; Gender identity

Categories

Gender and Sexuality; LGBTQ

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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