Nan Goldin’s legendary portraits of disaffected youth get new life

The photographer's landmark series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is comprised of nearly 700 portraits of youth from Boston to Berlin

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13 June 2016, 11:45am

Nan Goldin's seminal 80s photo series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was controversial, personal and real. Often credited with developing the aesthetic that Bill Clinton famously censored, the photographer herself is one of the series' most memorable subjects, partying and fighting and getting high and getting sober with the rest of them. "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read," Goldin wrote of the project. "The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember."

The series has been displayed in multiple formats since its inception, but the large-scale exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art is one of the most immersive. The nearly-700 portraits presented in their original 35mm format and sequenced against an evocative music soundtrack.

Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Nan Goldin photography series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency runs from June 11, 2016 through February 12, 2017 at MoMA