Nan Goldin, Takaho After Kissing, Tokyo, 1994. Silver dye bleach print (Cibachrome), 20 × 24 inches (50.8 × 61 cm). Gift of Judy Ann Goldman. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo by Charles Mayer Photography. © 2016 Nan Goldin
Nan Goldin is known for candid photographs that capture intimate moments in the lives of her friends and family. When she visited Tokyo in 1992, however, she was struck by the beauty of the city and people and for the first time photographed strangers on the street: “I sensed change in the air, things boiling up from underground, people coming out, and women emerging with new attitudes.” She returned to Tokyo in 1994 to work alongside her Japanese counterpart, the photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. Together, they published an artists’ book of their photographs of Japanese youth, titled Tokyo Love. In the book, Goldin reflects on the similarities between her formative years in the US and the rebellious Japanese youth she encountered in Tokyo, and remarks, “I fell in love with face after face. What started as a documentary project emerged as a journey back into my own adolescence, a rebirth of innocence, a time before my community was plagued by AIDS and decimated by drug addiction, a return to the garden.”
Many of the images in the Tokyo Love series celebrate youthful energy and romance as well as the subjects’ evolving and fluid sexuality. Takaho After Kissing, Tokyo is a sexually charged portrait of a young man reclining on a leopard-print sofa wearing only white underwear and a fishnet scarf. Glancing sideways, he smiles widely, red lipstick smeared across his mouth, capturing the emotionally charged state “after kissing.”
Takaho After Kissing, Tokyo joins a number of works by Goldin in the collection and adds depth to photographic portraits by such artists as Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Rineke Dijkstra, and Boris Mikhailov.