“Exposed” Artist Profile: Joy Goldkind

Joy Goldkind

Joy Goldkind’s work is on view at the ICA in the exhibition Exposed: Today’s Photography/Yesterday’s Technology thru Sept 19, 2010.

In a haunting series of black and white portraits titled Girlfriends, Joy Goldkind set out to make images that would explore the unexpected aspects of a subject’s persona lying beneath the surface. The sitter is Goldkind’s husband, who donned costumes and make-up in order to assume numerous female characters — from a bride to a nun to a fortune teller to a cross dresser, to name but a few. However, despite the variety of characters being depicted, the facial attributes are identical in each image.

Goldkind has worked with numerous photographic processes from wet-plate collodion to platinum prints, only eschewing digital photography. She now works exclusively with the time-consuming and labor-intensive Bromoil process, in which a silver gelatin print is bleached to remove the silver and then inked with lithograph ink. The images are hand crafted using brushes, which adds a layer of mystery to the photos. Goldkind finds that she is able to manipulate the process to get more abstract than traditional photographic portraiture. She uses a double exposure and slow shutter speed to change what is true and expected in an image. According to Goldkind, “This method allows me to alter a traditional photograph and create a unique painterly print.” She has the freedom to soften, blur or completely erase an aspect of the original negative. While these bizarre images were made using this historical technique, they are quite certainly from the 21st century.

Goldkind was born in New York City in 1943 and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has studied at the International Center for Photography as well as Palm Beach Photo Center in Delray Beach, Florida. She began as a fashion designer for children’s clothing but resigned after ten years to raise her family. At the age of 50 she took up photography. In the fifteen years since, her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions across the country and is included in a number of private collections.