Nan Goldin loves to tell people that photography saved her. She strives to share this salvation with others through her art and activism. She wrote, “Someone told me recently my work saved their suicide,” in 2021 to promote a new edition of her 1986 photo book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. “If I can save one person, that’s my ultimate goal of my work.”
Nancy Goldin was the youngest child of four in a Jewish middle-class family. She was born in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 1953. Although she loved her older sister Barbara, she struggled to love her. She spent years in mental institutions and then committed suicide when she was 18.
Goldin was featured in the acclaimed documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed earlier this year. It was directed by Laura Poitras and has been nominated to win an Academy Award. Continue reading to learn more about Goldin’s life and work.