Nan Goldin, the artist known for her intimate and emotionally revealing photos of addicts and sex workers, has unveiled her latest project inside a prison in Reading, England.
Among the past incarcerated tenants is literary legend Oscar Wilde, who served a two-year sentence in 1895 for indecency. Though such a distinct locale may appear disconnected at first, it serves as a perfect tribute for the prominent writer, whom Goldin has idolised her entire life. “I worshipped Wilde,” remarks the photographer in an interview with the Guardian. “He was a big influence, not just creatively but in the way he lived, his attitude and his flamboyance, his caustic wit and his style.” Goldin’s contribution to the group show is a work entitled “The Boy”. Comprising a series of images of German actor Clemens Schick taken between 1996 and 2012, the artist dated the subject briefly prior to his coming out. “I don’t know how I didn’t clock him as gay,” she said. “I have been clocking men as gay before they knew it since I was 14 or 15. But somehow I didn’t see it.”
Organised by London’s Artangel, this celebration of Wilde – who today remains the ultimate dandy – is part of a collaborative effort featuring other art heavyweights including Marlene Dumas, Ai Weiwei, Steve McQueen and Wolfgang Tillmans.
“Inside – Artists and Writers in Reading Prison” is produced by Artangel and runs until 30 October 2016