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Nan Goldin – The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

A journey to New York's gritty heart

Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1981) arrived in Triennale. Nan Goldin, class of ’53, is a Massachusetts-born artist, she left her family after her sister’s suicide, an even so brutal it forever shocked the artist, and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Then she moved to New York and started documenting the reality of degraded suburbs, a sometimes gritty reality, made of sex, drugs, love, old age and desperation.

The “Ballad” is a slideshow made of more than 700 shots, witnessing Goldin’s search for the instinct, the transparent moment, the uncensored reality. All of her slideshows are always in constant change, alive, finished and unfinished, limited and infinite, a true time machine. The artist looks for truth not objective beauty, the result is an enigmatic image, that drive reflection.

To narrate oneself and the surrounding world is an everyday thing that everybody knows well, the social media recreate this reality every day. But at the time of her beginning, Goldin’s research made her a pioneer, at the same level of Diane Arbus or Larry Clark.

Today, Nan Goldin works with the biggest fashion houses in the world, her point of view on reality is fascinating, concretized in an unique artistic carreer. Her pictures inspire the greatest art photographers. In these last years, the artist brought forth her vision developing incredible projects, like the one for SNCF in 2003, an ad for the Parisian railways that depicted life scenes on trains. In short, she is an artist that declines her vision in many fields and who knows in the future what new projects we will have the honor to see.

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