Nan Goldin: Guido floating, Levanzo, Sicily, 1999 Nan Goldin

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Guido floating, Levanzo, demonstrates Goldin's fascination with the beauty and vulnerability of the human form immersed in water as she witnesses the tranquility and isolation of her long-term collaborator and friend.

Renowned for tender, honest, revealing, intimate and sometimes brutal pictures of herself and what she calls her extended family, Nan Goldin (b.1953) is so close to her subjects that they hardly remember she is there. Like a visual diary her photographs tell the stories of emotional turmoil, passion and peace. This image captures Nan's friends in moments of total self-absorption, moments into which Nan has been allowed after long periods of building up intense relationships and trust with her subjects, so that the camera is as much a part of the relationship as she is.

Goldin's pictures are both courageously candid and affirmative, documenting the births and deaths, the mundane and the ecstasies, the drugs and rehab of her life as a photographer, friend and lover.


Format: Cibachrome
Sheet size: 406 x 610 mm (16 x 24 inches)
Image size: 356 x 533 mm (14 x 21 inches)
Box: 689 x 464 mm (27 1/8 x 18 1/8 inches)
Printed in 2004 in an edition of 100 plus 5 artist's proofs

All copies are signed and numbered by Nan Goldin

The Devil's Playground is the first major book to be published on Goldin's work since 1996 and it is by far her most important to date.

This monograph presents a major collection of photographs by Nan Goldin (b.1953). Since the 1980s, Goldin has consistently created photographs that are intimate and compelling: they tell personal stories of relationships, friendships and identity, while chronicling different eras and exposing the passage of time.

This book features a significant body of latest work by Goldin, including photographs from new series such as Still on Earth (1997-2001), 57 Days (2000) and Elements (1995-2003), many of which are previously unpublished. Laid out in diary-like sequences by Goldin herself, the material is both courageously candid and affirmative. The photographs are grouped into themed chapters, between which are interspersed texts, poems and lyrics by prominent writers, including Nick Cave, Catherine Lampert, Cookie Mueller and Richard Price.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 225 x 300 mm (8 7/8 x 11 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 504 pp
  • ISBN: 9780714844206c

Nan Goldin was born in 1953 in Washington, DC. She grew up there and in Boston, where she began to take photographs at the age of 15. In 1978 she moved to New York and then to Berlin where she lived and worked from 1991 to 1993. She currently lives and works in Paris. Since the early 1970s, Goldin has taken numerous photographs of her friends and 'family', which form a unique corpus of work. She is most famous for her Ballad of Sexual Dependency photographs, a constantly changing slide show of approximately 750 photographs set to music. Goldin's life and friends became the focus of her work - a diary of friends and lovers in Europe and America, in the underground and gay scene. Since the 1980s Goldin's photographs have been exhibited internationally, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museu Reina Sofia in Madrid.

"Her work is defiantly stripped bare - in The Devil's Playground, reality bites." —Elle

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