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The Devil's Playground Hardcover – November 18, 2003
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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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.
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'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) 'Goldin's consistent theme shines through in all its accessibility. She documents life as lived ... It is fitting that the sequencing, which was laid out by Goldin herself, feels distinctly diary-esque: the profound insights often to be found in a seemingly abstract moment.' (Pictured) 'Testament to a community of loved and loving bodies.' (Time Out) 'These 500 pages of beautifully reproduced colour pictures constitute a moving soulful and surprisingly optimistic record of the work of a genius.' (Diva) 'For any Goldin fan, it's a must-have.' (Digital Photographer)
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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.