• Nan Goldin (b. Washington, DC, 1953) is a notable American fine-art and documentary photographer.
    She grew up in Maryland, but ran away from home and was fostered by a variety of families. Her later schooling was at the Satya Community School in Boston, where a teacher introduced her to the camera in 1968, when she was aged fifteen. Her first solo show was in Boston in 1973, based on her photography among the city's gay and transvestive communities, to which she had been introduced by her friend David Armstrong. It was he who re-named her "Nan". She graduated from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University in 1977/8, where she had worked mostly with Cibachrome prints.
    After graduation, she moved to New York City and began documentary photography of the post-punk new-wave music scene, gradually being drawn in to the Bowery's hard drug subculture. These photographs, taken from 1980 to 1986, form her famous work The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.1 The snapshot aesthetic images depict drug use, violent, aggressive couples and autobiographical moments. Most of her Ballad subjects were dead by the 1990s, including her close friend and often photographed subject, Cookie Mueller.
    Some critics have accused her of making heroin-use appear glamourous, pioneering a grunge style that later became popularized by youth fashion magazines such as The Face and I-D. Goldin called the use of "heroin chic" to sell clothes and perfumes: "reprehensible and evil."
    Her work is most often presented in the form of a slideshow and has been shown at film festivals. Most famous is a 45 minute show in which 800 pictures are displayed. This format perhaps reflects the fact that her work developed at a time when few art galleries would show photography. The main themes of her early pictures are love, gender and sexuality, usually made with available light.
    Her recent pictures (since 1995) have been of Tokyo youth subcultures, including collaborative book projects with famed Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki; landscapes of New York skylines; uncanny landscapes (notably of people in water); her lover, Siobhan; babies, parenthood and family life.
    She currently lives in Paris and London. The Pompidou Centre, Paris, held a major retrospective of her work in 2002. She badly smashed her hand in 2002 and surgery thus far has not been a success.

    My favorite Photo book is "The Devils Playground" by Nan Goldin.
    Just Fantastic.




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  • László Moholy-Nagy was born in Hungary and served as an artillery officer in the First World War before completing his law degree. His early paintings showed his interest in German Expressionist painting, then in the early 1920s, he was influenced by Dada (particularly Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee) and then by the Russian Constructivists.

    In 1921 he got married. He worked in close collaboration with his wife, photographer Lucia Moholy, and some of the photographs credited to him are their joint work or hers alone.

    In 1924, Walter Gropius, the Director of the Bauhaus, met Moholy-Nagy and was so impressed by his ideas about the future of art and society that he asked him to take over the running of the foundation course (Johannes Itten, the previous course leader, had recently resigned.)

    At the Bauhaus Moholy-Nagy joined some of the major artistic figures of the era, including Joseph Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer,Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. Together with Gropius, Mohloy-Nagy proceeded to edit a series of fourteen books, including his Painting, Photography, Film that defined the philosophical framework for the Bauhaus program and set an agenda for much of art education in the twentieth century.

    Increasing political pressure led both Moholy-Nagy and Gropius to resign in 1928. Moholy-Nagy experimented with stage design and photography. In the 1930s he moved to England to escape the Nazis, working for a while as a photographer, before moving to America. Lucia Moholy stayed in England, working as a photographer and teacher.

    In Chicago he was invited to direct the 'New Bauhaus' and when this failed through lack of financial support, in January 1939 he opened the School of Design (later called the Institute of Design), explicitly founded on Bauhaus principles. Shortly after his death from leukaemia in 1946, this became financially successful with the influx of former GIs.


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  • Man Ray (August 27, 1890–November 18, 1976) was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media and considered himself a painter above all. He was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer.
    While appreciation for Man Ray's work beyond his fashion and portrait photography was slow in coming during his lifetime, especially in his native United States, his reputation has grown steadily in the decades since. In 1999, ARTnews magazine named him one of the 25 most influential artists of the 20th century, citing his groundbreaking photography as well as "his explorations of film, painting, sculpture, collage, assemblage, and prototypes of what would eventually be called performance art and conceptual art" and saying "Man Ray offered artists in all media an example of a creative intelligence that, in its 'pursuit of pleasure and liberty,'" — Man Ray's stated guiding principles — "unlocked every door it came to and walked freely where it would."


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