Celebrated American photographer Nan Goldin says artists are being 'blacklisted' for supporting Palestinians: 'I have never lived through a more chilling period.'

Nan Goldin speaks during the Bailey House's 2023 Art House benefit honoring Nan Goldin at Bowery Hotel Terrace on June 14, 2023 in New York City.
Nan Goldin speaks at a benefit in New York City.Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
  • Nan Goldin said artists are being "blacklisted" for supporting Palestinians, The Times reported.

  • Goldin's comment came after the ouster of Artforum magazine editor David Valesco.

  • "I have never lived through a more chilling period," Goldin said.

Photographer and activist Nan Goldin said artists are being "blacklisted" for supporting Palestinians as the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its fourth week.

Goldin's comments came in a New York Times interview after the firing of Artforum magazine's editor in chief, David Valesco. Valesco took the fall after the outlet published an open letter expressing support for Palestinians and condemning institutional silence on Israeli attacks on Gaza.

The letter initially didn't mention the Hamas attacks on October 7 that killed almost 1,500 Israelis, sparking Israel's counterattack, which Palestinian authorities in Gaza say has so far killed almost 7,000 people, many of them children.

Thousands of contributors to the magazine signed the letter, including Valesco. Goldin, a renowned photographer whose work focuses on the LGBTQ+ community and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, also signed the letter.

The backlash was swift as letters poured in denouncing the artists, the Times reported.

"I have never lived through a more chilling period," Goldin told The Times. "People are being blacklisted. People are losing their jobs."

Artforum publishers Danielle McConnell and Kate Koza published a subsequent statement disavowing the open letter, which said the letter had been "misinterpreted as being reflective of the magazine's position."

Since the release of the letter, some collectors have tried to convince artists to retract their signatures, according to The Times.

More than a dozen artists said that threats from collectors made it difficult to publicly defend their decision to sign the letter — which called for a cease-fire — and emphasized that their intention was to call for peace, The Times reported.

Penske Media Corporation, which owns Artforum, did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.

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