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Thursday, December 03, 2015

Legendary Photographer Shares a Few of Her Favorite Things - WSJ



Still Life
By NAN GOLDIN

“AT THE BACK is a polyurethane resin sculpture of my chest made by one of my oldest friends, Piotr Nathan. The resin was poured on both of us—those are his hands—so we literally got stuck together. I found the book to the right in Zurich. It’s about eye diseases and was published in 1838 by the doctor to the king of Saxony. It looks hand-painted—I bought it as a reward for myself. In front is a plate made by Guido Gambone from 1955. The blue is extraordinary—that’s my favorite color. On top are two knives, which I collect: a silver Swedish knife and a Finnish one made with reindeer hair and bone. The photos on the plate were taken in the 1880s with so-called freaks as subjects—I probably have hundreds in my collection. The blue bolt is Fortuny fabric, which I usually drape on furniture or hang from the windows. The porcelain creamer was made by another friend, the Polish artist Marek Mielnicki, who gave it to me as a gift. It took me a while to understand its beauty. Next to the creamer is a memento from Portugal, a little box with a lion on top that I got from a flea market. To the left of that is a drawing called Padding by my old friend Greer Lankton, whom I revere. It was done right after her transition and shows all the things you need after a gender reassignment. The box was a gift from Felix Hoffmann, chief cura-tor at C/O Berlin gallery, which he made in 2013. Inside is a little glass eye with a saying on top: “Keep it open always.” To the left is a girandole from 1730 made from Murano glass. Looking at it fills me with complete pleasure. Behind it are a few editions of the auction catalog La Gazette Drouot, which is my bible. I spend about three hours a night reading auction catalogs. Underneath the girandole are two of my books: my latest, Diving for Pearls, and Sisters, Saints and Sibyls, which is very rare. The postcard is by David Shrigley; it’s called “Large Fancy Room Filled With Crap,” which is sort of the motto of my apartment. I have a Ph.D. in fancy crap.”


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