Nan Goldin is an American photographer, whose book of works, ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, has made her one of the most influential and inspirational photographers of the twentieth century. Nan Goldin was born in Washington D.C to two middle-class Jewish parents. Goldin was first introduced to the camera when she was fifteen years old and was influenced by Andy Warhol’s early films, Jack Smith and Guy Bourdin.
The exposing images in Goldin’s ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ chronicles the ins and outs of the drug filled New York social scene of the 1980’s in which she and her friends inhabited. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was originally made as a slide show set to music which depicted the time she lived in. She chose each song with a delicate touch as she listened to the lyrics intently to ensure that they added to the emotions and style of each photograph. The slideshow was published as a book of works in 1986 and is still widely popular as it exposes the life of Nan and those around her as they partied, did drugs, listened to music and had sex.
Through following Nan’s life through her photographs one can see how she used her photography as a way to shock and awe, to expose and to saver her own memories. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency will be seen by some as a time capsule of sorts as it allows a glimpse of the times that once were.
I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost. – Nan Goldin