Intimate Lives – Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin – one month after being battered 1984

Nan Goldin, One Month After Being Battered 1984

Do I like it?

I like the message and the reasoning behind the image. I feel it is a good cathartic exercise for Goldin and an excellent reminder of her past, so she can avoid the situation again. However, it isn’t something I personally want to see. I think it is a very personal situation and it makes me uncomfortable to see.

Is it art?

I am really torn with this image as to whether it is art or not. To me art is something that provokes an emotional and intellectual reaction.  It has meaning and makes you think. This image does this, however, I can’t view it as art. It looks like an image from take a break magazine. I know this is the point of intimate life photography, that it looks like your family snap shoots to help you connect with it on a personal level. But I really cant connect with the image as a piece of art, maybe its because I don’t have personal experiences that match with the content or because it goes against almost everything I have been taught makes a good image.

Critiquing the work.

The image isn’t a very technically strong image. In all honestly if there wasn’t the black eye, this image would never be even considered as art. I personally feel an image needs more than a provocative message to be a good image. The lighting is harsh and unflattering. The composition doesn’t look like it was overly thought about and it looks like it was taken on a phone (I know this isn’t possible for the time).  I know this matches the aesthetic qualities of the style of intimate life photography, but I personally do not like this style and find it degrading as a person working hard to learn all the correct technical scenarios in photography


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