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Aug 30, 2014. - Jan 18, 2015.

Larry Clark: Tulsa

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Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1971. Gelatin silver print, printed 1980. Click image to enlarge.

When Larry Clark published Tulsa in 1971 it created a sensation that went beyond the subject matter. He had blurred the lines between participant and observer, but he'd also managed to be an artist instead of a voyeur. This series of photographs contains drug use, nudity and guns, yet still manages to present a touching sense of humanity.

Click to enlarge

Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1971. Gelatin silver print, printed 1980. Click image to enlarge.

This exhibition comes with a parental warning (and controlled access) but it also comes with high praise. Filmmakers such as Gus Van Sant and Martin Scorcese were influenced by Clark's work, and while the subject matter is harsh, the level of artistry is high.

The lighting is natural, the composition often classic, and there's a lot of poignancy and humanity on display as these young people spiral away. And in case you're wondering, Clark had such intimate access to his subjects because he was shooting up the drugs right along with them.

Clark learned photography early (his mother was a photographer of babies) and there's a great deal of darkroom technique behind these pictures. "I always try to shoot against the light," he told Darkroom magazine in 1977. "The film can't handle this and everything gets burned up, since I'm exposing for the shadows."

Clark produced a followup photo book, Teenage Lust, before turning to film and video. The video for the Chris Isaak song "Solitary Man" was directed by Clark, who is still actively working today. He is probably best known, as a filmmaker, for his 1995 release Kids.

Larry Clark
Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1971
Gelatin silver print, printed 1980

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