The American filmmaker and photographer brings his democratic print sale to Berlin to give back to “the skate rats and collectors”
- TextDaisy Woodward
Larry Clark has spent his life documenting the exploits and excesses of youth. First his own, via his seminal photobook Tulsa, which captures, in grainy black-and-white, Clark and his cohorts shooting up, toting guns, having sex and rabble-raising in the Oklahoma city’s suburbs during the 1960s. It was, and remains, one of the rawest and most unflinching depictions of America’s disaffected teens – and would pave the way for the voyeuristic reportage of Nan Goldin, Corinne Day and many more. Later, of course, came Clark’s films, from Kids (1995) – his notorious indie skater flick, following a group of apathetic teens around New York City as they get drunk and high and engage in unprotected sex with reckless abandon – to the likes of Bully (2001) and Marfa Girl (2012), all of which remain preoccupied with the same theme, albeit in differing settings. He has continued to document youth culture on camera too, with later offerings including his 2008 book, Los Angeles Vol 1, a sun-drenched, four-year chronicle of the life of Jonathan Velazquez, a young skater from Compton, east Los Angeles.
It is unsurprising then to learn that, although Clark himself is now 76, the majority of his audience are between the ages of 14 and 24 – he has an Instagram following of over 49,000 and counting. The director’s current project, a series of print sales in various international cities, has been conceived to give something back to the age group that has so endlessly inspired him. The latest of these opens at Berlin’s ReTramp gallery this week, offering visitors the unique chance to buy an original Clark photo for €100. The prints on display span Clark’s personal archive, including typically intimate portraits of himself and his friends, as well as covetable behind-the-scenes imagery from his myriad film sets and outtakes of his photo shoots for Supreme and Dior. Speaking over email for an article for the New York Times about the project, which has already boasted iterations in Paris, New York, Los Angeles and London, Clark said. “The sale is for people who come to my shows in thousands and could never afford $10-15,000 for a print. This is a payback to all the skate rats and collectors who would like a souvenir, so I can die happy.”
Larry Clark – 100 Euro is at Retramp Gallery Berlin from April 25.