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
The most unconventional Nan Goldin quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
My desire is to preserve the sense of people’s lives, to endow them with the strength and beauty I see in them. I want the people in my pictures to stare back.
I always thought if I photographed anyone or anything enough, I would never lose the person, I would never lose the memory, I would never lose the place. But the pictures show me how much I've lost.
Yes, photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary, traumatic, I survive by taking pictures.
I'm very influenced by a lot of things, but my chief influence is my friends and what I see and what I feel and my own experiences and memory.
The complete disregard for the camera's presence indicates its complete saturation in their lives. The subject neither notices nor seems to care that someone has been invited into their private moment.
It's so rare to see a woman's sexuality, real female sexuality, either in the shows or in the clothes.
The main thing that I want to say is that I don't think women are at their most beautiful in their adolescence or in their early 20s.
Of course I was wearing make-up, I never went anywhere without red lipstick for 25 years! It was a form of self-preservation for me to continue to wear lipstick even though my face was broken.
I like it [Rotterdam] much better than Amsterdam which is too much like a postcard. It's too cute for me. Rotterdam is more real, it's got a stomach.
I don't even like photography at all. I'm just doing photography until I can do something better.
Plastic surgery is distressingly popular and I feel that the fashion industry has killed tens of thousands of women over the years from anorexia.
Yes, I need to be fed but the need to be loved by friends has been as important to me than any lover I've had all my life. This is part of the reasons that my lovers don't stay because they are jealous of how much I care about my friends.
I never read theory. I think that was to my benefit.
I think it killed my sister as the times she was living in were so conformist.
This is a subject I really want to deal with. I want to start making films about female rage.
I had my first museum showing of my slide show in Rotterdam, in 1983.
I love Rotterdam. I love harbour cities in general.
I've become really interested in the landscape but not as landscape but more as it relates to mood and how we live and how the outside impacts on the inside. I didn't really look at the outside world during the years I was photographing the Ballad as I was locked inside my house and I lived totally inside.
I think it's obscene that many people are starving to death from anorexia.
It's been said many times, it's trite. But when so much evil is going on against, for example the Afghani people, where women are being so oppressed that a woman's body is a battlefield.
Each time I spend with Stella McCartney, I like her better. So I was excited to be asked by her.
I have very healthy strong relationships with women.
I never, never photograph someone getting high to sell clothes.
I was called, at some point, the person responsible for "heroin chic". I didn't have anything to do with "heroin chic".
I used to live with Teri Toye in the '80s - a really gorgeous transsexual.
She won Girl of the Year in 1986 [I think] as a Chanel model and she introduced this whole way of slinky, slow-motion modeling. It was amazing that the girl of the year was actually born male.
I know somewhat about Kate [Moss who featured in the Vogue spread].
I always thought that Kate's look had come from my old friend Siobhan Liddell and some of her friends because they dressed like that about ten years ago. Unconsciously, and right after that, that whole look sort of came out.
I don't think I am going to do pictures which are anything like Renaissance art.
As a non-Catholic, and since I was a child, I have been obsessed with the ritual and the beauty of Catholic art. I look at Renaissance art all the time.
The idea that a fashion photograph could make you cry doesn't happen.
And I'm proud to say that my slideshows can make people cry.
I'm not ashamed of my body and you know everything in the fashion world, if I was vulnerable to it, could drive me crazy. I think it produces so much self-hatred.
When I put my big retrospective together in '96 [for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York], I saw that there were all these pictures of people inside looking out. All these pictures of women in water and mirrors. I don't know what it means.
My life there[in New York] was almost entirely about gay men for 30 years.
One of the major things I really want to work on now is female rage because that's not dealt with at all - and I have a lot of it.
My work is mostly about memory. It is very important to me that everybody that I have been close to in my life I make photographs of them.
One of my assistants, a British man, says I should find a platform for [cosmetic industry]. Meanwhile I wear make-up.
No Jews have our own guilt, that's why we have psychiatrists - the Jewish version of a priest.
There are ways of angling the camera.
I don't just use a tripod. The only time I did that was in '88 when I first came out of detox, I spent every day doing self-portraits to fit back into my own skin. I didn't know what the world looked like - what I looked like - so in order to fit back into myself, I took self-portraits everyday to give myself courage and to fit the pieces back together. I used a tripod then.
My work shows the beauty in so many different kinds of people because I never photograph anyone who I don't think is beautiful. I never take an intentionally mean picture.
If I want to take a picture, I take it no matter what.
If I do continue to do fashion, I would want to radicalise it.
I'm very flattered when people I respect like my work.
It's like a dream of a little kid when somebody I idolised likes my work.
I remember so many girls when I was growing up who hated the way they looked.
The only time I went out was to go to bars at night and all the pictures were taken with a flash because there was no light at all. However now I'm very interested in light.
I've got really prolific since I moved to Paris where I am living permanently, for the rest of my life, until I find another idea. I have really close women friends here: Valerie, Raymonde, not Joana so much, Maria Schneider, who was always a real heroine of mine who and has now become a close friend.
One of the fashion things I ever did was for Helmut Lang for Visionaire magazine and I used people from all genders. People from the age of 18 - like James King - to people like my friend Sharon [Stone] who's about 50 or older. People of all different shapes and literally all different genders and my boyfriend at the time and his daughter who was 11.
I have no ambivalence about myself wearing make-up or designer clothes but I have an enormous ambivalence about what the fashion world has done to women.
Actually, I think what is being shown as beauty in fashion magazines right now has become particularly ugly. This kind of straight, blonde very conservative.
I also met Dominique Sanda, who I always worshipped.
I did [heroin] maybe when I was 18 but I got over that pretty quickly.
I wasn't there [in U.S] when the city was bombed but it seems to have changed my friends.
I feel like if I started to use it [camera] that way, it would be like a sin almost. I never show people ugly pictures I take of them. I usually destroy them. So even if I like it, and they don't, it doesn't get shown.
One of the things I love so much about Valerie [Belin] is that she inhabits her body so completely. She has no self-consciousness about having stretch marks or having given birth. It's just so amazing that she has nothing to hide. Whereas all these other women see every little - supposed - imperfection - anything irregular is seen as an imperfection.
In '83 I started travelling round Europe with my slide show.
It wasn't until I moved to Europe and got accepted in a big way in Berlin in the '90s that I got acceptance by the big art world in New York. I didn't really get to be known, or in the market, til '93 in New York.