Sean O’Hagan

Most of the pieces were published in The Guardian, where O’Hagan is the photography critic. Any exceptions to this are noted.


Quotes

GoldinSherman

Nan Goldin

Initially, because of her subject matter alone, she was compared to Diane Arbus, who had made her name with photographs of so-called freaks and outsiders in the 1960s. Goldin, though, says she knew nothing about art photography or documentary when she saw Arbus’s work for the first time. “What I remember most is that all the queens I knew hated her. Violently. In her portraits of drag queens, she stripped them and showed them as men. To me, the queens were not men. My work was much more respectful to them. I’ve never thought of a drag queen as a man. That’s really the last thing I think about when I look at them. They weren’t women either, by the way, they were another species.”
She pauses for a moment, lost in thought, then says, “That was way before all this transgender crap. Fucking postmodern and gender theory. I mean, who gives a shit? People made all that crap up to get jobs in universities. I once told my students to just take LSD if they wanted to see the world clearly,” she says, grinning and lighting another cigarette. “You can see why I didn’t really fit in as an academic, but they still ask me to come back and teach.”

Nan Goldin interviewed by Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian, Sun 23 Mar 2014

Cindy Sherman

Sherman came of age when postmodern theory occupied a place in art discourse that it no longer does; perhaps this is why her work has endured much better than some of her peers: because of its implicit – and sometimes explicit – feminist politics. “I’m not personally articulate,” she says when I mention this. “I don’t even like giving lectures, and I certainly couldn’t debate with anyone, but I have strong personal stances. I couldn’t be an advocate but, through my work, I can be outspoken. What’s also important, though, is that the work is always ambiguous, that it lends itself to interpretation. I’m not a message artist.”

CIndy Sherman, interviewed by Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian, Sat 8 Jun 2019

References

Chiocchetti, F. (n.d.) Sean O’Hagan, Photography Critic at The Guardian  [online]. 1000wordsmag.com. Available from https://www.1000wordsmag.com/sean-o-hagan/ [Accessed 20 January 2020].

O’Hagan, S. (2014) Nan Goldin: ‘I wanted to get high from a really early age’ [online]. theguardian.com. Available from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/mar/23/nan-goldin-photographer-wanted-get-high-early-age? [Accessed 20 January 2020].

O’Hagan, S. (2019) Cindy Sherman: ‘I enjoy doing the really difficult things that people can’t buy’ [online]. theguardian.com. Available from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/jun/08/cindy-sherman-interview-exhibition-national-portrait-gallery [Accessed 20 January 2020].

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