By: Nicol Maciejewska
Larry Clark is a controversial director, photographer, writer, and film producer. His work explores unpopular subcultures, such as skateboarders and surfers. Clark documented teenage drug taking and sexual activity of his friends starting in 1959, which are later featured in his book Tulsa. I appreciate Clark’s work because he wasn’t some outside adult observer of the teenage world. He didn’t show his audience what teens might do or how they might act, but instead he really got into the teenage midst and presented it to us for what it was. His work was raw; some might even say it’s borderline pornography, but would’t you say that aspect makes it more realistic. Just like Oscar Wilde said “life imitates art”. Larry also made it a point to show us that it wasn’t just teenagers in urban cities partaking in these activities, instead it was happening everywhere. His work falls into a plethora of themes, such as dysfunctional families, violence, religious intolerance, bigotry, social behavior, and sexuality.