Larry Clark in Berlin

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(Photo Courtesy of the artist. Larry Clark, Billy Mann 1963, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery,London)

LARRY CLARK
Tenage Lust
Last days! Until the 12. August
C/O Berlin

This exhibition is not allowed if you are under 18. That’s because the images are strong and describes the youth douring the ’70 in USA and there are some explicit content. A really urban view with a strong connection with his private life.

Larry Clark was born in 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United-States. He Lives and works in New York / Los Angeles

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(Larry Clark Untitled, 1972 Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London)

the exhibition includes the mythic images of Tulsa (1971) and Teenage Lust (1983), as well as other work from these periods never shown before. His 16mm film on addicts in Tulsa, made in 1968 and recently rediscovered, is also being screened for the first time.

In his photo series from the 1990s and 2000s Clark shows us teenagers in a daily round of staving off boredom with drugs, sex and firearms, together with skateboarders ranging geographically from New York to the Latino ghetto of Los Angeles. Equally based on street and rock culture, the series 1992, The Perfect Childhood (1993) and Punk Picasso (2003) confirm his cutting eye for a marginality America refuses to face up to.

The large format colour works of the Los Angeles series 2003–2010, chronicle the evolution from child to adult of young skateboarder Jonathan Velasquez, the central character of Clark’s film Wassup Rockers (2006).

Since the publication in 1971 of Tulsa, a seminal work on a generation’s lostness and violence, Clark’s work has haunted American culture. The power of his images, quite apart from their grimness and dark appeal, lies in his quest for a naked truth, a realism stripped of all prudishness.

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(Larry Clark Untitled, 1972 Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London)

Adolescent beauty, sexuality and drug-induced action – Larry Clark radically and realistically documents the everyday life of US teenagers, transgressing bourgeois moral concepts. From the drug scene in his hometown of Tulsa in the early 1960s to contemporary skaters in Los Angeles his works capture extremely intimate moments. The authenticity of Clarke’s images expose the consequences of a dysfunctional society and question the social responsibility and moral stance of its members.

The revolutionary and unique aspect of his photographs is – to this day – the closeness and intimacy between him and the documented persons and situations. As opposed to a classical photo-journalist who views an unfamiliar world from the outside, Larry Clark does not only take an interest in the life of his protagonists. Far removed from any form of voyeurism, he himself is a fundamental part of the scene he photographs. It seems as if he has a familiarity with the persons portrayed rather than just observing them. Without Larry Clark, photography would not have freed itself from the constraints of objectivity. Hardly any other photographer has ever achieved the same degree of intensity with which he immerses himself in his subject. It is here that the artist revives his own youth – each time with new protagonists.

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(Larry Clark Untitled, 1971 Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London)

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(Larry Clark Untitled, 1979, Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London)

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(Larry Clark Jonathan Velasquez, 2004, Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery,London)

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(Larry Clark Jonathan Velasquez, 2003 Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery,London)

Giacomo Cosua

Giacomo Cosua is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Positive Magazine. He's a journalist member of the Italian Press Association and as photographer he published his works with L'Espresso, La Repubblica, XL, Vice, Purple, AnOther, GQ, Vanity Fair, D della Repubblica and many others.

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