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Larry Clark

Larry Clark holds a seminal position in the history and practice of photography in America. Renowned for his treatment of drug use, subcultures and teenage sexuality, his controversial representations of American youth culture are rooted in the artist’s own biography. Clark was born in Tulsa, OK in 1943. His mother earned her living as a door-to-door baby photographer and from the age of thirteen Clark was enlisted in the family business. Between 1961 and 1963 he studied at a commercial photography school, before returning to his hometown, where he began the series that would become his first book, Tulsa, published in 1971. Shot over a period of seven years, it documents the lives of Clark and his friends with a visceral honesty, illustrating their existence on the margins of society. Although primarily concerned with themes of drugs, sex and violence, Tulsa was lauded for its graphic yet sensitive representation of young Americans, inaugurating a raw, confessional photographic style that candidly engaged a lived experience and which would exert a profound influence over photographers and filmmakers including Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley, Gus Van Sant and Martin Scorsese.