Nan Goldin
[Photographer, b. 1953, Washington, D.C., lives in New York and Paris.]

 The camera is as much a part of my everyday life as talking or eating or sex. 
 ...anybody can take a picture. Now, you don’t even have to be a person, you can be a telephone. There were always too many pictures in the world and today there are billions of pictures. 
 [The snapshot is] the form of photography that is most defined by love. People take them out of love, and they take them to remember—people, places, and times. They’re about creating a history by recording a history. 
 There is a popular notion that the photographer is by nature a voyeur, the last one to be invited to the party. But I’m not crashing; this is my party. This is my family, my friends. 
 My desire is to preserve the sense of people’s lives, to endow them with the strength and beauty I see in them. I want the people in my pictures to stare back. 
 The instance of photographing, instead of creating a distance, is a moment of clarity and emotional connection for me. 
 I never learned control over my machines. I made every mistake in the book. But the technical mistakes allowed for magic…. Random psychological subtexts that I never would have thought to intentionally create. 
 My photography has always been about trying to stave off loss: of people, places, experience, memory. Nowadays it’s also my form of safe sex. It’s a way for me to show people the admiration and love I feel for them. 
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