Sunday, September 9, 2007

Larry Clark: Los Angeles 2003 - 2006 Volume 1

I thought I was through with one night stands. “Thought” being the operative word to that sentence. No…I am apparently I am still very capable of waking the morning after with that sinking feeling that “you’ve done it again.” Why? Is it to fill some internal unrest that can only be sated by some regretful act?

Anyway…I woke this morning slightly hung-over and there it was. Instantly I had that slightly embarrassed feeling of not being able to look it straight in the eye, but undoubtedly, I had to deal with it at some point, it is in my house.

I recall clearly what had taken place the day prior. I was walking in the heat…that oppressive heat that has taken New York (now that summer is over) for the past two days. I was walking to the Luhring Augustine Gallery for a Larry Clark book signing. I was carrying my book bag with a few older titles (Mr. Whiskets asked me to get them signed for him) and just as I was about to pass out from the heat…I was seeing those tell-tale white spots...I was saved by the gust of air conditioning from the open gallery door.

Blinking rapidly I recovered my eyesight and found a small line of people waiting, some book dealers, asking Larry if he’d sign their twentieth copy of the Kids screenplay. The line was moving very slow but I saw that copies of a new book were being relieved of their cellophane shrink-wrapping. Credit cards and cash were flowing. Plastic bags were rustling their song of commerce. A whisper of “only 1000 copies” echoed through the vacuous space along with talk that Larry is making a new movie. “Almost have the green light,” it's going to star Val Kilmer and somebody and somebody else and all I could think of is “Please don't say that Paul Giamatti is going to show up in your movie!”

Sigh of defeat and eighty dollars lighter I left.

So here I sit, this morning, trying to make small talk with this new unexpected housemate over a cup of coffee.

He’s not much of a talker. When he does open up it is mumbled ramblings of his skate tricks (nollie heelflip frontside tailslides down 12 stair handrailings) or his hardcore band (Moral Decay) or that his girl is only 15 but looks 25. Or was it that she is 25 and looks 15? I don’t know…all I know is that he mumbles. Did I mention that?

Based on appearances, he isn’t that bad. Beautiful actually. A stunner. A big surprise for a one nighter. Great design and production values. Splendid color printing by Quensen, Hildesheim / Lamspringe. It’s just, he is a bit vapid. I think I would have been just as satisfied had I bought the Vice Magazine Fashion Issue for $5.95. Or even just checked out a bunch of those American Apparel ads. They do as much fetishizing of adolescents as does my eighty dollar friend. But no…I spent eighty bucks on him. I own him now. He takes up space…probably forever. Because you know that part of the disease is the inability to let go. Maybe that accounts for the headache. (God…if you are up there…please make the rumor of only 1,000 copies be true) (Satan…if this print run turns out to be 6,500 copies, you truly are an evil, evil man).

So what can I do? Therapy? Group rehab? Is there a Friday night meeting in Martin Parr’s basement for this sort of thing? I know I am not the only one. I did resist buying that damn skateboard deck Larry did for Supreme (I did get the calendar though. Hi…My name is Jeff...I have a problem. A book one night stand problem).

This one night stand is entitled Larry Clark: Los Angeles 2003 – 2006 Volume 1. It is published by Luhring Augustine Gallery and the Simon Lee Gallery.

I hope that I am well into my 12 step program before Larry Clark: Los Angeles Volume 2 shows up. I’ve admitted that I have a problem…it's a good start, but I'm far from the finish line.

Buy online at Luhring Augustine Gallery


Anonymous said...

"I own him now. He takes up space…probably forever. Because you know that part of the disease is the inability to let go."

i am still in the beginning stages, i guess...letting go...yes, it's hard...but not impossible...i just sold a signed copy of exiles for around 300 bucks...i regret it...i probably paid rent or whatever...but the book was priceless...and you can never (ever) get it's not at the pawn shop on the corner...

Kate Hutchinson said...

I understand your problem. I don't think I have it as bad as you but I am constantly needing new bookcases and it's an expensive habit too. I'm getting better though. I recently stopped off at Tim Whelan's in Rockport and only bought one book! It was mostly due to the short amount of time I had there but I still felt that this was a great accomplishment. I am in Montreal so I cannot come to a meeting but good luck!

Anonymous said...

yes...we all think we're the centre of the one is addicted as us...but there will come a day...when you move house...get married...have kids...get divorced...a mixture of these or other circumstances...and you will put this larry clark up on the chopping block...i've seen it happen...again and won't thank me for it...but when the time comes you'll remember this...just as i did when someone wiser than me told me the same thing (which is nothing but stating the obvious, after all...).

Anonymous said...

It's Larry Clark though. His stuff is always good. Whether or not it goes up or down in value doesn't matter--you've got a piece of art my friend. Nevertheless, I can assure you that this isn't a title you're going to be able to pick up at your neighborhood Brentano's. I couldn't even *think* about selling any of my Clark books. Embrace it!

One Way Street said...

My name is Bernie Yenelouis, & I cannot stop buying photo books. I covet them. I want them. I cannot stop myself. I delude myself in thinking that this will be the equivalent of a pension plan for myself in my dotage, but that is really a rationalization for me to just not stop. Reading about the new Larry Clark book reminds me that at home I have a copy of LC's Supreme 2005 calendar - still in it's wrapping, otherwise ignored in my apt. Why do I have this? I cannot say I'm that much of a fan of LC - it reminds me of a calendar one of my carpenter friends had that featured "Miss Rigid Tool."

There's the famous aphorism by Oscar Wilde to the effect that the only way to get over a temptation is to succumb to it - Wilde obviously did not buy photo books.

Anonymous said...

Yes, moving house is the killer -- unless you wrap defensively each volume individually and box them up into many strong boxes which you transport yourself in your car, you're going to get quite a few "bumped corners" and "sprung hinges" (and that's getting off lightly... "volume cockled and discoloured from some moron's spilled coffee" is more like it)

Anonymous said...

i love photobooks, too...don't get me wrong...obsession...but they are for one-nighters...i look and relook...i have bruce gilden's "haiti" first edition as a mouse pad right now...with a glass of beer on top...the same with cameras...i buy them to use them...instead of buying 15 photobooks i went out and bought an i am working on a photobook of my comes with the territory...hard to explain...i have four i want to get...once i get them i will reveal the titles...but not before then...a lot of people would undermine my pursuit...a lot of people need guidance...

Luc said...

Hello. Thank you for your very interesting blog. I look everyday to see if there is something new and discovered already some wonderful publications and unknown (to me) artists.

By the way, do you know the "One Picture Books" by Nazraeli Press? What do you think about them?



Anonymous said...

uptight collectors, everyone spending too much time worrying about book value and edition sizes. bet most of you sit all day in front of the computer looking up book prices or drooling alone in front of the bookshelf figuring out new ways to organize your books - while Larry Clark is out living the life!
no wonder you didn't buy the Supreme board, cuz you don't skate! and for the record, Vice mag is free.

Anonymous said...

Zing! Put in our place by your rapier-like wit and tendency to use exclamation points! and you used "cuz", too! Double zing! I bow before your Samoan Anger! Now, can I get back to drooling over my bookshelf?

Anonymous said...

Yeah A.S. I don't skate anymore (torn ACL) but I would challenge that, of all of those Larry Clark "artist series" boards that Supreme has created (Richard Prince is the latest to lend his art to skate deck graphics for Supreme) I highly doubt that many were actually set up and ridden. bookcase is already organized. I chose the alphabet as a guide.

I didn't know that Vice was free though...that actually makes me feel worse for spending eighty bucks on something when I could have gotten the equivalent for free! I also do not know if they have a fashion they?

Anonymous said...


I like some of the One Picture books. I really like the concept. The John Gossage set was the first and is great but I do not own it. (one of the few Gossage titles that I do not own. Fantastic from a designers stand point) but too expensive now. Robert Adams, Martin Parr, Robert Heineken etc...all good. Now they are very collectible to the point of certain titles selling out before they even are released. There is a Stephen Shore one coming soon that falls into that category.

Anonymous said...


Never thought I'd catch you and Bernie online in front of supreme.

What's good these days???

I'm upstate riding around in a green ford ranger with a wistafield in the back, spending 45 minutes composing BLACK & WHITE pictures, and living in a cabin with 12 windows and a composting toilet.

Life is good man....

Hope all is cool with you.

Mayb we'll run into eachother book stalking on a these weekends, I'm always around and about....

Unknown said...

God, I really hope that Larry Clark is not 'out living the life', as our skateboarding friend says. It's one thing, and let's face it dodgy enough in itself, to be an ageing photographer whose work deals with adolescents having sex and waving guns around while taking drugs. (I apologise for that glib summary of Clark's work) It's another thing entirely to be an ageing photographer who has sex with the adolescents he preys upon I mean photographs, while taking drugs and waving guns around.

It is true that I spend many hours drooling in front of bookshelves. But that is because Larry accidentally knocked all my teeth out with his gun while we were having sex on a skateboard, high, a while back, and the dentures don't fit right. Be warned Mr Samoan: wear a gum shield. Larry has no interest in the toothless ones.