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The Devil's Playground Paperback – 11 Oct 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (11 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714847585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714847580
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 4.6 x 32.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,333,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"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

About the Author

Nan Goldin was born in 1953 in Washington, DC. She grew up there and in Boston, where she began to take photographs at the age of 15. In 1978 she moved to New York and then to Berlin where she lived and worked from 1991 to 1993. She currently lives and works in Paris. Since the early 1970s, Goldin has taken numerous photographs of her friends and 'family', which form a unique corpus of work. She is most famous for her Ballad of Sexual Dependency photographs, a constantly changing slide show of approximately 750 photographs set to music. Goldin's life and friends became the focus of her work - a diary of friends and lovers in Europe and America, in the underground and gay scene. Since the 1980s Goldin's photographs have been exhibited internationally, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museu Reina Sofia in Madrid.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the above review says this is an extensive collection of Nan Goldins work. The quality of the book and reproduction is up too the usual standards of Phaidon releases and will not disapoint.

Nan Goldins confessional style is displayed well. The majority of the images work best viewed as shown here as part of a total work, not many work as stand alone images.

The themes are exhausting, I felt as though I was being dragged into her life and felt physicaly drained but couldnt stop.

A moving experience.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary artist. Quite how the previous reviewer can state that few of the images stand alone is beyond me: time and again Goldin finds sacred in the profane, beauty in ugliness, tenderness in extremis. Nan Goldin fashions the sublime from the everyday; she finds salvation in a godless world through intimacy and trust. Of course, in the context of major social changes over the last 30 years, Goldin's work has enormous political -- as well as artistic -- resonance. On the face of it, Nan Goldin is a documentary photographer -- she works with natural light, her photographs are unstaged, her subjects 'real people' (in fact, her extended family). And yet the editing -- which is one of many strokes of brilliance in this book -- is anything but accidental; composition is extraordinary; nuance infinitely affecting.

Nan Goldin is a genius. And short of another major retrospective at the Whitechapel or a restaging of Ballad at Tate Modern, this is currently the closest we can get to the heart of a great artist.
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Format: Hardcover
It is a really nice publication that describes the honest and deep human inner world of Nan Goldin.
A classical book of personal and worldwide photography.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
so like Nan Goldin's work only un-perfection is the paper of the book is not very good for all those prints.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Classic. 20 April 2017
By Susan_MA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always liked Nan Goldin, or appreciate is the better word. This book does not disappoint. The photographs in The Devil's Playground are grouped into themed chapters, between which are interspersed captivating texts, poems and lyrics by prominent writers, including famed Nick Cave, Catherine Lampert, Cookie Mueller and the notorious Richard Price.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nan Goldin NOT Nick Cave 11 Sept. 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice 18 Aug. 2016
By Tokiwa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love it, but as so many Nan Goldin publications inclusive online, for some reason her image series of junkie-culture in Italy are omitted (oppressed? I am starting to wonder...) Otherwise beautiful.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 2 Jan. 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.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nan Goldin's Magnum Opus 25 Oct. 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.
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