FROM TULSA TO TEENAGE LUST... THE EARLY YEARS
In 1971 Clark released Tulsa, a photo documentary, showing the real lives of the friends he grew up with in the eponymous Oklahoma town, and the problems they and Larry himself (a teen drug user) faced. This was his first foray into documenting the issues that affected young people, and was seen a ground-breaking work, offering an insight into the world of drug use and sex among the youth of suburban America.
In 1983, he followed up with his second book, Teenage Lust. Having moved to New York he documented youth street culture there, having seen the same issues he captured, and felt affected by personally, in Tulsa.
Both books still resonate now, and have have produced a number of iconic images that have in turn been showcased by streetwear and skate brands across the world, including Supreme, Stussy and more recently Fuct.
2005 - SUPREME
Back in 2005 Larry teamed up with Supreme to create two early iterations of their now legendary artist skate deck series, using imagery from Tulsa and Teenage Lust. He was given half of the stock, which in turn he gave away to local skaters. The decks now hang in museums.
2014 - WACKO MARIA
Back in 2014, the Japanese label Wacko Maria joined forces with Larry on a collaborative photo book. As well as his photography, the book featured new and archival imagery.
2015 - BEAMS T
Japan's legendary BEAMS T created a homage to Clark in the form of a highly limited and extremely varied collection of tees, hoodies and skate decks, all featuring iconic imagery from the Tulsa book.
Through the 80s and into the 90s, Clark's facination with youth and street culture in New York City continued. Here he met Chloe Sevigny, the fledgling Supreme skate team, and probably most significantly, Harmony Korine. Discovering a shared passion for film, Clark asked Korine to write a screenplay about the lives of young New Yorkers in the time of the AIDS crisis, and so Kids was born...
The influence of Kids seems as strong today as it did in 1995, as much as it isn't an easy watch, the reality of the story telling resonates with young people, through generations and across the world. As such, imagery from the film, and the accompanying book has been adopted by global brands, new and old has been used in all manner of guises as a tribute to one of the most important films in the realm of modern street culture, including a recent collab with Japan's Flagstuff, on a highly limited capsule collection of tees and shirts...
2000s and beyond - after kids...
While Kids continues to be the most referenced of Clark's work - Supreme's 2015 anniversary series is still a grail for so many - it seems like there will always be a place in street culture for Larry Clark. However, the relationship isn't one sided, and perhaps this adds to the longevity of his work, and his ability to spot a collaboration that will truly work. He's an avid collector of skateboards and streetwear tees, obsessed with the imagery and slogans, particularly Fuct, who's work he has collected avidly for years.