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Tulsa

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When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark's groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation. Its graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that rocked America in the 1960s. The raw, haunting im When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark's groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation. Its graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that rocked America in the 1960s. The raw, haunting images taken in 1963, 1968, and 1971 document a youth culture progressively overwhelmed by self-destruction -- and are as moving and disturbing today as when they first appeared. Originally published in a limited paperback version and republished in 1983 as a limited hardcover edition commissioned by the author, rare-book dealers sell copies of this book for more than a thousand dollars. Now in both hardcover and paperback editions from Grove Press, this seminal work of photographic art and social history is once again available to the general public.


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When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark's groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation. Its graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that rocked America in the 1960s. The raw, haunting im When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark's groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation. Its graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that rocked America in the 1960s. The raw, haunting images taken in 1963, 1968, and 1971 document a youth culture progressively overwhelmed by self-destruction -- and are as moving and disturbing today as when they first appeared. Originally published in a limited paperback version and republished in 1983 as a limited hardcover edition commissioned by the author, rare-book dealers sell copies of this book for more than a thousand dollars. Now in both hardcover and paperback editions from Grove Press, this seminal work of photographic art and social history is once again available to the general public.

30 review for Tulsa

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne Baker

    Amazing and haunting, this book reminds me of a memory I'm glad I don't personally possess.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Džana Doo

    These photographs left me wanting more and I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing regarding this book. A picture is worth a thousand words but in this case I feel that backstories, quotes - more information, would have given the book more value. I think these people's lives are mesmerizing, and that thought alone makes me feel far more repulsed (by myself) than the photos do. The photos make me feel sad and I do not find it strange that these photographs were seen as controversial in 1971, These photographs left me wanting more and I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing regarding this book. A picture is worth a thousand words but in this case I feel that backstories, quotes - more information, would have given the book more value. I think these people's lives are mesmerizing, and that thought alone makes me feel far more repulsed (by myself) than the photos do. The photos make me feel sad and I do not find it strange that these photographs were seen as controversial in 1971, since there is a lot to analyze and discuss even today. I feel like not much has changed? The photos are beautiful, but they are not shocking to me personally. Having said that: I am a so-called "edgy teenager" who owns a Tumblr account, haha... Definitely worth a "flip through".

  3. 4 out of 5

    skylar

    words have been hard to read lately so i thought this would be easier to absorb. suffice it to say it wasn’t any less difficult to consume. this is such a painful collection. i couldn’t find the full book, but i found a publication with about half of the images. i can’t believe how captivating some of these photographs are. they just hurt.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Goding

    As an artist, Larry Clark may or may not have more than a few screws loose. He has difficulty maintaining a balance between being provocative and being real, and while many folks are divided in regard to his merit, I am still very much on the fence. On one hand, I think that his art does sometimes resonate and remind me of things I've experienced in my own life. However, I also feel like Clark has a habit of fixating on these images and ideas to a degree where it becomes unclear whether Clark is As an artist, Larry Clark may or may not have more than a few screws loose. He has difficulty maintaining a balance between being provocative and being real, and while many folks are divided in regard to his merit, I am still very much on the fence. On one hand, I think that his art does sometimes resonate and remind me of things I've experienced in my own life. However, I also feel like Clark has a habit of fixating on these images and ideas to a degree where it becomes unclear whether Clark is being artistic and exploitative. His work challenges, provokes, and moves me, though, and TULSA is a perfect example of what he does. It may not be in good taste, but he does make you feel some powerful emotions. Some of these photographs are incredible in their harshness. Others are simply ugly. A couple are heart pounding. One photo in this brought me to tears and caused me a single sleepless night. Without describing it in detail, it involves a casket. I will say no more. Larry Clark's photography is a lot like his films. I'll never know if I, personally, would have been better off not seeing any of it, but I do believe he has the power to startle those whose lives share close similarities to his subjects. Powerful, but certainly not for everyone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    Absolutely haunting. Although its ostensibly a book of photographs (with only a few terse captions from Mr. Clark), there is still a clear and definite narrative here, and it's one of desolation and disillusionment, roughly following the course of the '60s, when these photos were shot. The bright-faced teenagers we see in the first pages are wastrels and addicts by the end, sad and almost inevitable products of the time and place they spring from, although I guess one could that this sort of sma Absolutely haunting. Although its ostensibly a book of photographs (with only a few terse captions from Mr. Clark), there is still a clear and definite narrative here, and it's one of desolation and disillusionment, roughly following the course of the '60s, when these photos were shot. The bright-faced teenagers we see in the first pages are wastrels and addicts by the end, sad and almost inevitable products of the time and place they spring from, although I guess one could that this sort of small-town decay is fairly universal. And, of course, technically speaking, the photographs look pretty good, too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carolina de Goes

    Oh, come ON! A bunch of stupid kids shooting up and shooting each other. Stark naked truth? Okay, go shoot up and shoot yourselves, but don't get your babies involved! Go get a life. I don't feel sorry for these guys. There's so much more shocking stuff out there in the real world, you know, troops bombing innocent civilians and children dying of famine and pest and corrupt governments and bloody dictatorships and guerillas and shit like that, and THIS book touches people? Technically speaking, Oh, come ON! A bunch of stupid kids shooting up and shooting each other. Stark naked truth? Okay, go shoot up and shoot yourselves, but don't get your babies involved! Go get a life. I don't feel sorry for these guys. There's so much more shocking stuff out there in the real world, you know, troops bombing innocent civilians and children dying of famine and pest and corrupt governments and bloody dictatorships and guerillas and shit like that, and THIS book touches people? Technically speaking, though, the photos are very good.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Lown

    An honest look at the lives of drug abuse and the alienation of youth in America. What is so important about this work to me, is that it isn't someone outside looking in. Clark is these people, and he is photographing his friends and the life he is living while taking these photos. More and more photography these days seems to be very opportunistic and based around social capital, but every time I read Tulsa I get the sense that this book was built with purpose. Clark himself said it An honest look at the lives of drug abuse and the alienation of youth in America. What is so important about this work to me, is that it isn't someone outside looking in. Clark is these people, and he is photographing his friends and the life he is living while taking these photos. More and more photography these days seems to be very opportunistic and based around social capital, but every time I read Tulsa I get the sense that this book was built with purpose. Clark himself said it wasn't meant to sit on a coffee table and collect dust, or be handed around at some yuppie gallery. It's a blood wrenching scream towards a society that is completely indifferent towards the suffering of it's youth, poor, and addicted. Gordon Parks used to say that he chose the camera because it was a weapon against injustice. When Larry Clark finds that same weapon in his hands, he uses it adeptly and with incredible empathy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cian O'

    Jesus Christ, what happened?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtland Stone

    Trainspotting in Oklahoma.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    Normally this wouldn't get over three stars but in the context of contemporary American culture this is a significant artifact. The first published work (1971) by one of the most influential and greatest American artists of recent times which i got in a nice cheap reprint on Amazon. A lifelong intravenous speed addict, Clark made Kids, Ken Park and Whassap Rockers? among other classics and this is where we can see his genius, survival instinct and vision started to form. No moral message, just r Normally this wouldn't get over three stars but in the context of contemporary American culture this is a significant artifact. The first published work (1971) by one of the most influential and greatest American artists of recent times which i got in a nice cheap reprint on Amazon. A lifelong intravenous speed addict, Clark made Kids, Ken Park and Whassap Rockers? among other classics and this is where we can see his genius, survival instinct and vision started to form. No moral message, just rawness

  11. 5 out of 5

    That

    SUPER graphic, but really powerful photographs. Studies show that the average person looks at an image for 2 seconds before moving on, I believe that Larry Clark used disturbing images to compel the viewer to look longer. The photographs are like a train wreak you want to look away but you just can't.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Pierce

    A stunning collection of photographs from Larry Clark's youth in Oklahoma, shooting speed with his friends. Sets his theme of self-destructive youth in decay from the very start; beautiful and shattering.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley

    photo doc of drug use, real and poignant so I found it difficult to "like" however, it is moving.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Pires-da-rosa

    Excellent and shocking at the same time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    vi macdonald

    Tulsa features some of the most stark and haunting imagery ever captured on film, it's almost completely beyond description, you really have to see it for yourself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    "Death is more perfect than life." One of the best.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Best paired with Speed/Kentucky ham by Billy Burroughs.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris S

    If you want see pathetic smack-heads in action - this is for you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    S

    INCREDIBLE book of photographs.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave Naz

    One of the best Photo books ever made. A masterpiece.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Oklahoma

  22. 4 out of 5

    Margarite Baltruweit

    The raw, haunting images taken in 1963, 1968, and 1971 document a youth culture progressively overwhelmed by self-destruction.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Allen

    Depressed the hell out of me. Sad, yet beautiful images that haunt the soul!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Renne Sairanen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Justin Bieberkopf

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eric Daly

  29. 5 out of 5

    Urs

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hyatt Lee

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