EYE CANDY

Nan Goldin’s Notorious New York of the 80’s, Revisited

Although Nan Goldin‘s raw, diaristic series, “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” is now considered a hallmark of contemporary photography, its initial release in the mid-80’s drew its share of ire: President Bill Clinton even accused the photographer of inventing heroin chic. While Goldin captured that decade’s New York scene and accompanying drug use without apology, she never sought to glamorize her subjects, and decades later, the series is finally getting an institutional due: Starting today, nearly 700 of her portraits from that era will occupy MoMA’s second floor until February, a dramatic, large-scale installation fitting for a series that takes its name from a Brecht opera. It’s the Velvet Underground and Maria Callas, though, who will play over the speakers, just like its original incarnation: Goldin first showed the photos as a slideshow, for and with the help of her friends. Get a look inside, here.

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“Nan and Brian in Bed, New York City,” 1983. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“The Hug, New York City,” 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Trixie on the Cot, New York City,” 1979. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Buzz and Nan at the Afterhours, New York City,” 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Nan and Dickie in the York Motel, New Jersey,” 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Rise and Monty Kissing, New York City,” 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Nan One Month After Being Battered,” 1984. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“David and Butch Crying at Tin Pan Alley, New York City,” 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2009. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“C.Z. and Max on the Beach, Truro, Massachusetts,” 1976. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“The Parents’ Wedding Photo, Swampscott, Massachusetts,” 1985. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Philippe H. and Suzanne Kissing at Euthanasia, New York City,” 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Max and Richard, New York City,” 1983. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.

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“Nan on Brian’s Lap, Nan’s Birthday, New York City,” 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Nan Goldin.