Art, Books September 30, 2009 By Sarah Coleman
goldin cover Nan Goldin
Photography courtesy of Rizzoli New York

goldin title Nan Goldin

In the 1980s, photographer Nan Goldin rose to prominence with The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, an ambitious body of work that depicted the underbelly of New York’s East Village and Lower East Side. Shot with minimal equipment in low-light conditions, featuring depictions of drug use, sexual liaisons, and domestic violence, Ballad ushered in a style known as the “snapshot aesthetic” and influenced a whole generation of younger artists. In an era of Facebook and Snapfish, it’s easy to overlook Goldin’s significance — but in its time, Ballad was as bold and original as artistic statements get.
     As talented as she is, Goldin would have been nothing without the extensive network of friends and fellow artists who served as her subjects. One of her friends was Bette Gordon, an up-and-coming filmmaker who, in 1983, asked Goldin to document the making of her film Variety. Gordon and Goldin were both members of No Wave, a loose coalition of avant-garde filmmakers and musicians on the Lower East Side. Intensely collaborative, the No Wave artists shared ideas and equipment, played music and acted and lived together in the neighborhood’s famous cold-water walk-ups.

Features November 13, 2008 By Sarah Coleman
zinn Zinn
Illustration by WATSON/DG


Art, Features June 1, 2008 By Sarah Coleman

Parade — Hoboken, New Jersey. All Images Courtesy of Steidl


Art May 17, 2008 By Sarah Coleman
newwaves New Delhi, New Wave

newwaves title New Delhi, New Wave

In 1980s-New York, players like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Robert Mapplethorpe revolutionized the art scene. Today something similar is happening in India, where a new generation of artists is creating work that challenges cultural taboos on feminism, homosexuality, and class mobility. Rooted in Indian culture, using references that run from the Bhagavad Gita to Bollywood, these “New Wave” Indian artists are producing art that’s bold, bright, and refreshingly in-your-face.
     The fourteen artists profiled in New Delhi, New Wave (Damiani) have been carefully picked to represent the new generation. Some of them are friends, two are married to each other, but each body of work is completely separate and original. A lot of the work deals with sexuality, from the condom-embossed articles of clothing made by twentysomething designer/artists Thukral & Tagra to Tejal Shah’s gender-bending photographs of transvestites as female sex goddesses and divas. Video artist Sonia Khurana uses her large, voluptuous body to counter India’s dependence on Western ideals of beauty, while Kriti Arora’s huge photographs of humble road-builders make us confront a social underclass that’s usually hidden.

Art, Features March 10, 2008 By Sarah Coleman

All images Courtesy of Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum Photos.