Nan Goldin at Guido Costa Projects Gallery, Torino

"Colette in Sophie Loren drag", 1973,
b/w vintage print, 20 x 20 cm.

TurinArt & Culture

The Queens of Boston

Nan Goldin show leads us through her exploration of the early '70s drag scene...

By the time Nan Goldin was introduced to photography by a school teacher in 1968, the 15-year-old had already left home and enrolled in a community school in Lincoln, Massachusetts. An independent, adventurous streak shaped the young artist, and it was just two years later that she embarked on what would become her first distinct period of practice, centring on the drag queen community of Boston.

The four years beginning in 1970 are the subject of the first in a series of Goldin exhibitions to be held at the Guido Costa Projects Gallery, Torino. These formative years see the precocious Goldin fully immersed in the drag scene, living with the subjects of her photographs, documenting their lives not for the purpose of analysis or to shock a conservative public, but as a reflection of the fondness — and in one case, the love — she felt for her adopted family. Goldin would return to the subject after graduating university in 1977, but the results lacked the special quality born of the connection that her earlier intimacy had fostered. Goldin went on to even further acclaim with her depiction of hard drug abuse in New York that spawned the 1986 book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. This self-titled exhibition presents 50 photographs from Goldin’s Boston-era archive; closing date is 17 October.

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“Untitled, Boston”, 1971-1974,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

BLAH

“Untitled, Boston”, 1971-1974,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

BLAH

“Bea as blonde venus”, 1974,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

BLAH

“Untitled, Boston”, 1971-1974,
b/w vintage print, 23 x 18 cm.

BLAH

“Untitled, Boston”, 1971-1974,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

BLAH

“Naomi in beauty parade”, 1972,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

BLAH

“Untitled, Boston”, 1971-1974,
b/w vintage print, 25 x 20 cm.

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