Cara Perlman, Nan Goldin, Finger-Paint on paper, 1981


Cara Perlman, Nan Goldin, 1981; finger-paint on finger-paint paper, 16 x 20 inches.

Cara Perlman’s finger-paint portrait of photographer Nan Goldin dates from 1981 when they were both bartenders at Tin Pan Alley, a Times Square basement bar with a mixed clientele of artists and others who were part of the local scene. The portrait is from a series of finger-paint portraits featured in an online exhibition at Gallery 98.

Nan Goldin is an internationally recognized photographer who has had one person shows at the Whitney Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Pompidou. She worked as a bartender at Tin Pan Alley in the early 1980s and also exhibited photographs there.


Cara Perlman


Cara Perlman: Finger-Paint Portraits, Tin Pan Alley, 1981–82

Perlman’s portraits, executed with a painting method typically used by children, fit broadly into the 1980s wave of neo-expressionism but they go way beyond that context.