Art Review: Larry Clark’s “Los Angeles 2003-2006”


Published: October 11, 2007

“Kids” director Larry Clark’s new photography collection, “Los Angeles 2003-2006” chronicles four years in the life of Jonathan Velasquez, a teenager living in South Central L.A.—and the inspiration for Clark’s latest film, “Wassup Rockers.”  Clark’s photos peer into Jonathan’s life through a series of portraits in which the young man poses for the camera, staring back with a defiant gaze.  Other shots depict Jonathan hanging out with his friends in front of a sun-drenched urban backdrop.

Characters fade in and out of the background, love interests emerge and Clark’s camera obsessively follows Jonathan as he meanders toward adulthood.  Whether it’s loitering in the light of street lamps or primping his mohawk in the bathroom mirror, Jonathan’s experiences are brought to the viewer with boldness and exuberance.  In vivid full-color prints, Clark forces one to examine the world through the eyes of a youth in an oft-forgotten locale.

“Los Angeles 2003-2006” is on display now through Oct. 13 at the Luhring Augustine Gallery, 531 W. 24th St.