(Written by Larry Clark, 1971)
In 1971, after a tour-of-duty in Vietnam, legendary cult director, photographer, and writer Larry Clark (Kids) went back to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma to document the rampant drug use, sexual escapades, and gun play of his old gang of friends from a decade earlier. Many hadn’t left the scene, and Clark himself still had the itch, as he states in the book’s introduction: “when i was sixteen i started shooting amphetamine. i shot with my friends everyday for three years and then left town but i’ve gone back through the years. once the needle goes in it never comes out.” Photographing himself as a participant in the scene, rather than as an onlooker, Clark avoids the pitfalls of exploitation and instead imbues the work with authentic visceral danger and a casual intimacy that shocked readers, making him a controversial figure from the very start of his career. Using a series of unusual techniques — which include shooting ‘against the light’ and bleach treatments to the film — Clark produced countless stark black-and-white photos that certainly do little to glorify the behavior, but instead, document the sometimes grotesque and heinous acts as something of a foregone conclusion in a deteriorating society in a town that had raised a generation of disaffected teenagers that went searching for something to numb their feelings of alienation. Write Brain TV is proud to add this shocking book of photography to our ever-expanding library of underground literature!