Nan Goldin, 'David with Butch Crying'

Nan Goldin, 'David with Butch Crying'

Nan Goldin (born 1953)
'David with Butch Crying'
Tin Pan Alley, New York City
R-type colour print
Museum no. PH.662-1987

The Photograph
This photograph is very typical of Goldin's work. It is casual in pose and composition, representing friends in a social but unextraordinary setting. The image has the familiarity (in all but size) of a snapshot, but has a profundity and anxiety focussed on the tearfulness of the woman's face. This in itself is an event both shocking and familiar. The Photographer '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 her friends. Her personal life has been the theme of most of her work through the past twenty years. The relationship between Goldin and her subjects is clear in her photographs. Her work does not glamorise or exploit her subjects, she captures them acting out daily, ordinary and extraordinary events, private as well as social. Many of her published photographs have centred on sexual identity.

Her book 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency' (Aperture, 1986) shows the relationships and characters of both men and women. 'The Other Side' (Cornerhouse, 1993) is a compilation of photographs from the early 1970s to the 1990s of transsexual friends. Most of her photographs were taken in America and particularly in New York but she has also taken photographs in Berlin, Manila and Bangkok.

Processes and Techniques
This is an R-type photograph, so called because it is printed from a colour transparency.

This photograph can be found in Prints and Drawings Study Room box EDUC 14.