Nan Goldin is an American photographer known for her deeply personal and candid portraiture. Goldin’s images act as a visual autobiography documenting herself and those closest to her, especially in the LGBTQ community. Her opus The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1980–1986) is a slideshow of snapshots set to music that chronicled her life within the subcultures of New York in the 1980s, and is intended to be seen in an installation. "The slideshow is really my medium. I wanted to make films. That was always the ambition,” Goldin has said. The Ballad was first exhibited at the 1985 Whitney Biennial, and was made into a photobook the following year. Born Nancy “Nan” Goldin on September 12, 1953 in Washington, D.C., the artist began taking photographs as a teenager. Influenced by the fashion photography of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin she saw in magazines, an instructor introduced her to the work of art photographers such as Diane Arbus, Larry Clark, and August Sander. She currently lives and works between New York, Paris, and London.
L'œuvre de Nan Goldin est inséparable de sa vie : marquée par le suicide de sa sœur, c'est en photographiant sa famille qu'elle entame son œuvre photographique qui, par la suite, reste très proche de l'album de famille, par sa technique comme par ses sujets.
Elle considère, depuis sa jeunesse, la photographie comme le médium idéal pour conserver des traces de vie, permettant ainsi de faire naître une deuxième mémoire.