Nan Goldin was arrested during protests outside of Governor Cuomo’s office.

Wallace Ludel
Aug 28, 2019 7:32PM, via ARTnews

Nan Goldin at a protest at the Louvre on July 1, 2019. Photo by Stephane de Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images.

Nan Goldin, the artist who founded PAIN, or Prescription Addiction Intervention Now, in 2017, was arrested this morning along with fellow protestors outside of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan headquarters.

The activists were calling on Governor Cuomo to establish overdose prevention centers. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in May 2018 his plans to create safe injection sites, but they can’t be established without approval from the State Department of Health, which operates under Governor Cuomo. According to ARTnews, Nan Goldin was seen locking arms with protestors, who were holding a sign that read, “GOVERNOR WHILE YOU WAIT NEW YORKERS DIE.”

According to Hyperallergic, some activists, including Goldin, blocked the entrance to the building. Goldin and fellow PAIN activists were arrested after about an hour of protesting. They chanted “Cuomo lies, people die!” as they were loaded into a police vehicle.

Goldin and PAIN have been credited with driving the conversation to hold art institutions responsible for accepting money from the Sackler family. Members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the enormously profitable OxyContin drug. Sackler family members have been accused of intentionally fueling the opioid crisis and becoming immensely wealthy in the process.

Continued protests staged by Goldin and PAIN have sparked an international reckoning and rethinking of toxic philanthropy. Subsequently, the Louvre removed the Sackler name from it’s galleries, and the Tate Museum Group, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that they will no longer accept Sackler money.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Sacklers offered to pay between $10 and $12 billion to settle the more than 2,000 federal and state lawsuits that were being filed against them. Under this proposal, the Sacklers would relinquish ownership of the company and they would pay a further $3 billion out of their own pockets, The New York Times reported.

Wallace Ludel