Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 [Eugene Smith] was always writing these diatribes about truth, and how he wanted to tell the truth, the truth, the truth. It was a real rebel position. It was kind of like a teenager’s position: why can’t things be like they should be? Why can’t I do what I want? I latched on to that philosophy. One day I snapped, hey, you know, I know a story that no one’s ever told, never seen, and I’ve lived it. It’s my own story and my friends’ story. 
 I always wished I could be a painter or a filmmaker, anything but a fucking photographer. I certainly didn’t want to be in a photography gallery. 
 since I became a photographer I always wanted to turn back the year. always wished I had a camera when I was a boy. fucking in the backseat, gangbanging with the pretty girls all the other girls in the neighborhood hated. 
 ... I wanted to be a storyteller, tell a story. Which I hate to even admit to now, because I hate photojournalism so badly. 
 I just happened to have my camera and be photographing my friends. It was totally innocent; there was no purpose to the photographs. There was a purity to them that wasn’t planned; it was realism. 
 At the end of the day, what I show is real life. I tell the truth. And the truth can be shocking. 
 The work all comes from a psychological need. See the images that I make… It’s really a psychological need. I’m just jerked around by it. I’m pulled by it. 
 ...I didn’t know what other people were doing because I was working in a vacuum—just me. I wasn’t looking at art. I wasn’t not looking at anything. 
I made a point not to look at anything because I was afraid that I’d be influenced. 
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