In an era where an untrained, mobile-app-wielding horde of photographers can easily manipulate any composition with a digitally burnt edge or sepia-hued scrim, it's refreshing to page through The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Nan Goldin's intimate, candid photo-diary of New York City life, first published in 1986. "I want to show exactly what my world looks like, without glamorization, without glorification," Goldin wrote in the book's original preface. "This is not a bleak world but one in which there is an awareness of pain, a quality of introspection." While many have since emulated Goldin's style, few can achieve the striking familiarity and emotional depth evoked by the master herself.
Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency ($50, Aperture) is out now.