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The Devil's Playground [Paperback]

Nan Goldin , Guido Costa , Enrique Juncosa , Catherine Lampert , Sharon Olds , Richard Price , Nick Cave
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 26 2008
THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is the most significant book published to date on Nan Goldin (b. 1953), one of the most prominent and influential contemporary photographers. It contains Goldin's latest works alongside earlier classics, including images from new series such as ELEMENTS, 57 DAYS, STILL ON EARTH, and FROM HERE TO MATERNITY, many of which are published here for the first time. This book is an intimate and compelling photographic portrait, telling personal stories of relationships and identity while chronicling different eras and the passage of time. Goldin's photographic sequences are interspersed with texts, poems, and lyrics by prominent writers.

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From Publishers Weekly

Dating mostly from 2000 to 2002, this latest collection of photos from '80s star Goldin broadens her exploration of intimacy to take in first loves and births, along with the usual chronicling of accidents and illnesses, drug addiction and recovery, age and loss among friends and family. Throughout this nearly 12"×9" collection, the body is always primary, and often unabashedly fleshy. The ease with which Goldin captures her friends and relatives showering, relaxing on a bed, or in the midst of lovemaking is impressive, establishing both the reality of the moment while simultaneously bathing her subjects in her loving, third-party glow. Texts include pieces by Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, along with New York downtowners John Giorno and the late Cookie Mueller. While Goldin's work is often compared to Diane Arbus's, in that both photographed the so-called "marginal" members of society, rather than using the lens as a distancing, voyeuristic tool, Goldin equalizes viewer and viewed. Through the lens of familiarity, the photo becomes less an exploitation than a connection. Homosexual, transvestite, straight, scarred, tattooed or simply uniquely shaped, everyone has relations-and Goldin does not exempt herself, as two sections in the book follow her struggle against heroin addition. While the 460 shots here are printed in gorgeous color, many of the photos are unfortunately situated across a two-page spread, with the central human figure often disappearing or elided into the gutter, at odds with the overall intention of the collection.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'You'll be drawn in, turned on, disgusted, or in love with this absorbing book, which has a strange beauty of it own.' (Digital Photographer) 'Her work is defiantly stripped bare - in The Devil's Playground, reality bites.' (Elle) 'This intense, roller-coaster ride through pain and pleasure is made bearable by the extraordinary beauty of the photographs.' (Time Out)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Devil's Playground May 13 2004
Format:Hardcover
The Devil's Playground presents a major collection of photographs by Nan Goldin. Since the 1970s Nan Goldin has consistently created photographs which are intimate and compelling - they tell personal stories of relationships, friendships and identity, but simultaneously chronicle different eras and the passage of time." "This book features a significant body of new work by Goldin, most of which is previously unpublished, including photographs from series such as Still on Earth (1997-2001), 57 Days (2000) and Elements (1995-2003). Laid out in sequences by Goldin herself, like a diary, the material is both courageously candid and affirmative. The photographs are grouped into themed chapters and between these are interspersed poems, lyrics and texts - some of which have been specially written for this book - by prominent writers such as Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, E. E. Cummings, Cookie Mueller and Richard Price. The Devil's Playground is the most important book to be published on Goldin's work to-date. It brings to light the source of Goldin's inspiration and her life as a prominent contemporary artist
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5.0 out of 5 stars Devil's Playground Dec 6 2003
Format:Hardcover
No other word for it except MAGNIFICENT!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nan Goldin's Magnum Opus Oct. 25 2004
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is a lap-heavy, huge tome of the creative photographs of Nan Goldin, many of which have never before been published. Goldin is know throughout the museums of the world as a photographer who knows no barriers for her subject matter: AIDS victims, mental patients, transvestites, poor families, rural landscapes, constructed still lifes - these are but a few of the categories studied and captured by Goldin. For this full color volume Goldin selected the layout and the progression of sections, making the flow of the book even more fascinating; the book is one where she is both artist and curator and the result is a powerhouse of statement.

For devotees of Nan Goldin's work, this book is a must. And for viewers marginally approaching photography as an art form then look no further. A magnum opus of the work of one of America's more significant contemporary artists.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nan Goldin NOT Nick Cave Sept. 11 2009
By eric - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm still trying to figure out why Nick Cave gets top billing on this Nan Goldin book. I have to chalk it up to error. As the liner notes say, this is "the most significant and comprehensive book to date on the work of Nan Goldin". That's exactly what this is. If you like Nan Goldin you'll love this book. This is an encyclopedic volume of her images, has to be 1000 pages, it's massive. One of those books you can page through and see something new every time. My only gripe is that most of the photos are printed full bleed, some span 2 pages with the spine cutting them in half, like a magazine.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Jan. 1 2013
By jezz915 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this book for my sister "shes a photographer" for Christmas. It is really well done and she loves it.
8 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devil's Playground Dec 6 2003
By "augustclay" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
No other word for it except MAGNIFICENT!!!
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