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Larry Clark
Larry Clark

Larry Clark

Country: United States
Birth: 1943

Lawrence Donald Clark (born January 19, 1943) is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film Kids (1995) and his photography book Tulsa (1971). His work focuses primarily on youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex, and violence, and who are part of a specific subculture, such as surfing, punk rock, or skateboarding.

Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and he was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13. His father was a traveling sales manager for the Reader Service Bureau, selling books and magazines door-to-door, and was rarely home. In 1959, Clark began injecting amphetamines with his friends. He attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied under Walter Sheffer and Gerhard Bakker.

In 1964, he moved to New York City to freelance, but was drafted within two months into the United States Army. From 1964 to 1965, he served in the Vietnam War in a unit that supplied ammunition to units fighting in the north. His experiences there led him to publish the 1971 book Tulsa, a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white.

Routinely carrying a camera, from 1963 to 1971 Clark produced pictures of his drug-shooting coterie that have been described by critics as "exposing the reality of American suburban life at the fringe and ... shattering long-held mythical conventions that drugs and violence were an experience solely indicative of the urban landscape." His follow-up was Teenage Lust (1983), an "autobiography" of his teen past through the images of others. It included his family photos, more teenage drug use, graphic pictures of teenage sexual activity, and young male hustlers in Times Square, New York City. Clark constructed a photographic essay titled The Perfect Childhood that examined the effect of media in youth culture. His photographs are part of public collections at several art museums including the Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In 1993, Clark directed Chris Isaak's music video Solitary Man. This experience developed into an interest in film direction. After publishing other photographic collections, Clark met Harmony Korine in New York City and asked Korine to write the screenplay for his first feature film Kids, which was released to controversy and mixed critical reception in 1995. Clark continued directing, filming a handful of additional independent feature films in the several years after this. In 2001, Clark shot three features Bully, Ken Park, and Teenage Caveman over a span of nine months. As of 2017, they are his last films to feature professional actors.

Ken Park is a more sexually and violently graphic film than Kids, including a scene of auto-erotic asphyxiation and ejaculation by an emotionally rattled high-school boy (portrayed by James Ransone, then in his early 20s). As of 2015, it has not been widely released or distributed in the United States. In 2002, Clark spent several hours in a police cell after punching and trying to strangle Hamish McAlpine, the head of Metro Tartan, the UK distributor for Clark's film Ken Park. According to McAlpine, who was left with a broken nose, the incident arose from an argument about Israel and the Middle East, and he claims that he did not provoke Clark.

In a 2016 interview, Clark discussed his lifelong struggle with drug abuse, although stating he maintained total sobriety while filmmaking. He confessed that the only exception made to his practice of abstinence while filming was Marfa Girl. Clark explained that while filming that movie he used opiates for pain due to double knee replacement surgery.

In 2015, Clark collaborated alongside notable skateboard and clothing brand, Supreme, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kids with a collection of decks, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that feature stills from the iconic film. The collection was released on May 21, 2015 in Supreme's New York, Los Angeles, and London locations and on May 23 in their Japan location.

Source: Wikipedia


Larry Clark, born in Tulsa, worked in his family's commercial photographic portrait business before studying photography with Walter Sheffer at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1961 to 1963. He served in the military during the Vietnam War and has been a freelance photographer based in New York since 1966. During the 1960s, Clark documented the culture of drug use and illicit activity of his friends in Tulsa, and his photographs from those years were published as Tulsa (1971). Considered shocking for its graphic portrayal of the intimate details of its subjects' risky lives, the book launched Clark's career. After Tulsa, he produced Teenage Lust (1983), a series of photographs depicting adolescent sexuality, Larry Clark (1992), and The Perfect Childhood (1993). His work has been included in group and solo exhibitions since the early 1970s, and he was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Photographers' Fellowship in 1973 and a Creative Arts Public Service photographers' grant in 1980. Clark has also produced films; Kids (1994), based on his experiences with New York City teenagers and their culture of drugs, alcohol, and sex, and Another Day in Paradise (1999).

Larry Clark's photographs in Tulsa are unflinching portrayals of difficult and often unsightly circumstances viewed through a participant's eyes. Their first-hand intensity recollects the work of Danny Lyon and Bruce Davidson, but Clark's raw voyeurism and insistent exposure of detail results in a somberness that differentiates his work from that of others in the early 1970s. His recent photography addresses similar subjects, but with the distance of an observer, and a more prominent formal sensibility.

Source: International Center of Photography


 

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Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt, took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix, and later became a founding member and manager of the documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as a permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their worldview. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high-profile image-appropriation dispute between me and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town, and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013 and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So, therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted me from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years, I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the American social, political, and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of the show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited
Ali Shokri
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1982
In our family culture, the tree is a symbol of life." Nature photographer Ali Shokri grew up in Iran. It was in his beautiful home country that he would begin to develop his passion and love for nature – more so, trees. Years later, his passion would become the centerpoint of his life's ambitions. For the last 16 years, Shokri has been photographing trees. His mission? To show everyone how important and beautiful they are to the world. His body of work has since been turned into a photo book, The Passion of Trees. Showing his collection of images and highlighting his message, Shokri spoke to us about a topic he holds tightly close to his heart. Statement "To me, each tree, like a human being, has a tale to tell," Shokri says. "When a tree dies, a whole story is interrupted, a destiny is altered for the worse. I feel as if the trees, bundled at the back of trucks, are cursing us with their broken hands, wounded faces, and severed roots. "Perhaps this is how we are led towards damnation, little by little stripped of our humanity, when man's 'abounding foliage moistened with the dew' is reduced to ash and smoke." The nature is a mirror to show us what is going inside us. Why we cant be kind with the nature and the lungs of the earth- trees-? Yes, the lungs of the earth. How we can damage her lungs. As an artist, I beilive that the art brings us responsibility and introducing the lungs of the earth is my responsibility. I know I can't save our trees with my photographs," Shokri says. "I can't restore Nature to her imperious verdure, yet I try to capture the lonesomeness and exile of the trees and encourage the viewers to look at nature with a different gaze, to remember that in the absence of trees the birds are homeless and there's no air to breathe, to remember that if there are no trees humanity has already vanished..."
Violeta Sofia
Violeta Sofia is a photographer, artist and activist whose journey is as rich and diverse as her artistic portfolio. Born in Cameroon and raised in Spain from a young age, Violeta's multicultural upbringing deeply influences her work, which often explores themes of identity, diversity, and human connection. From a tender age, Violeta exhibited a passion for the arts, nurtured by her father, a photography enthusiast. At just eight years old, she picked up her first camera, embarking on a lifelong love affair with photography. Despite facing challenges and discrimination during her school years. Violeta persevered, fuelled by her parents' unwavering support for her creative talents. After studying media studies in university, Violeta found herself drawn back to her first love: photography. Her first photography jobs was freelancing in makeover and model agencies, where she developed model portfolios and gained confidence in posing and communicating with subjects. This experience laid the foundation and the confidence to work with high-profile clients, including celebrities, where she often had mere minutes to establish a connection and capture their essence. As a fine artist and portrait photographer, Violeta has made significant strides in the art world. Her work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery and Christie's, showcasing her ability to blend creativity with a powerful narrative. Additionally, she has graced the covers of renowned publications like Elle Italia, Deadline Hollywood, and The Telegraph, cementing her status as a prominent figure in the industry. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Violeta is also a passionate activist, advocating for female inclusivity and representation in the arts. Through her photography, she seeks to challenge stereotypes and highlight the diverse experiences of women, particularly those of colour. Today, Violeta's work transcends mere portraiture; it serves as a powerful tool for storytelling and self-expression. Through her lens, she seeks to bridge divides and celebrate the beauty of human diversity. Whether she's capturing the vulnerability of a celebrity or the authenticity in her fine art photography, Violeta Sofia continues to inspire and challenge perceptions through her art and activism. Statement: In my artistic journey, whether capturing the essence of a celebrity or exploring the complexities of identity through fine art, I am guided by a profound sense of gratitude for the path I've traveled thus far. My photography is not merely a visual expression, but a conduit for protest to fostering connection and understanding. With my conceptual art, my ultimate goal is to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. Through the sharing of untold narratives and diverse viewpoints, I strive to dismantle stereotypes and foster a world grounded in diversity, compassion, and positive change.
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In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
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Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
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