Photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark
has contributed his imagery to some of the finest art institutions in the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Now the 'Kids'
director can add the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris to his list with his first French retrospective, 'Kiss the past hello.' This special exhibit encapsulates fifty-years of Clark's artistic career, with over two hundred original prints (many being shown for the first time), as well as a first-time screening of his 1968 16mm film on teenage addicts, 'Tulsa' -- the precursor to his 1971 photography book
of the same name.
Clark has battled critics' claims of obscenity and child pornography in his film works -- despite also being applauded for peeling back the skin on controversial social issues -- which includes the portrayal of underage sex, drug use, date rape and other violent acts in fringe youth cultures. You can expect some of the same for 'Kiss,' which includes images from 'Tulsa,' and work from Clark's 1983 autobiographical series (his teen past as played out through others) 'Teenage Lust.'
Other works from this period will be shown for the first time ever.
The photo series from the artist's 1990's and 2000's era explores skate culture from New York and the Latino ghettos of L.A. -- as well as punk kids and other street cultures toying with sex, drugs and guns. Jonathan Velasquez, the central character of Clark's 2006 film 'Wassup Rockers'
about South Central L.A. skaters, is the focus for the large format series, 'Los Angeles (2003-2010),' which chronicles the teen's life.
Although the dark and brutal themes of Clark's work will dominate the exhibit, his photographer mother's portraits of newborn babies and animals will be on display as well. The director worked as her assistant for some time, which is where he was able to hone his craft. Seems a fitting juxtaposition -- the innocent side-by-side with innocence lost.
Visit the museum's website
for more details on 'Kiss the Past Hello,' and check out the gallery below to see some of Clark's work.