There's a myth about Nan Goldin that she only photographs a less-than-savory sort — drug addicts, streetwalkers, and whatever else. The truth is she photographs the people and things around her at any given moment, and for many moments now, she's been producing very family-friendly fare. In fact, her latest book, Eden and After, is a sweet collection of photos of her friends' children from over the decades.
These children may have remained anonymous were it not for a little explanation from the publisher, Phaidon, on its website. It's phenomenal how the smallest amount of context can enliven even the mot telling portraits...
Max on Cookie’s lap, the Backroom, Provincetown, MA, 1977
"Cookie Mueller (1949 - 1989) was a writer and actress, and a starlet of the Lower East Side. She wrote poetry and short stories, contributed a column to Details magazine and starred in John Waters' early films. Her son, Max Wolf Mueller was born in 1971. Cookie succumbed to an AIDS related illness in 1989, aged 40."
Io in camouflage, NYC, 1994
"Nan met the actress and fellow photographer Rebecca Wright on the set of the 1986 Sara Driver film, Sleepwalk. Goldin went on to shoot Wright for the Village Voice magazine, and became godmother to Wright's daughter, Io Tillett Wright. From an early age Io rejected feminine trappings and lived as a boy during her early childhood, before going on to found America's first nationally distributed street art magazine, Overspray. Io now works as a photographer, writer, and video director."
Io and her mother Rebecca, Washington Square Hotel, NYC, 1995
Isabella and Guido’s game, the statue, Sardinia, 2003
"The Turin-based writer and curator Guido Costa hosts exhibitions across the world; his writing on art and photography has also been widely published. He has worked closely with Goldin for many years, writing not only a long essay for Eden and After, but also collaborating with her on Goldin's previous monograph, The Devil's Playground, also published by Phaidon. Nan gave Costa's daughter, Isabella, her first camera."
Lou laughing in the tub, Sag Harbor, 2000
"Aurèle Ricard was born in France in 1963, and worked a fine artist in New York during the 1980s. In 1999 he moved into Nan Goldin's New York apartment with his partner, the actress and cinematographer, Joana Preiss, Both feature heavily in Goldin's work. A nude shot of Joana's back in the doorway at the Chateauneuf-de-Gadagne (2000) features on the cover of the photographer's pocket monograph. The couple and their son also appear in Eden and After."
Marina, JC and Elio on their roof, Brooklyn, 2013
"Raised in both New York and Italy, Marina Berio is a fine-art photographer, and Chair of the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City. Her partner is the French-born photographer Jean-Christian Bourcart, who worked as a photojournalist, before turning to fine-art photography. The couple live in New York with their son, Elio."