Ali Smith on Nan Goldin's 'Cookie Laughing':
First, it’s the delight of someone else’s helpless mirth. It’s one of the most infectious pictures of someone laughing I’ve ever seen. The moment I see it, it makes me laugh too. Then, it’s a really stunning portrait as well as a really stunning photograph. Its subject is the photographer’s friend, the wise, witty and anarchic writer and actress Cookie Mueller. The picture makes something communal happen, it shares the friendship. But the energy’s in the mirth: it’s like Mueller is the light source; the grey nothingness of the wall lights up round her head and that stray wire runs off to the side, electric, connective, upwards. Her rings and bangles shine like little shackles, but she’s laughing like anything.
More in The Guardian