This image of Lady Gaga shot by Terry Richardson for Supreme got me to thinking about the link between Lady Gaga, photographer Terry Richardson, director Larry Clark and American Apparel. American Apparel seem completely influenced by the work of Larry Clark and it’s interesting to see how long this visual perspective has continued, basically never going out of fashion. There is something in the similarity of the work of Richardson and Clark that I connect with, always have, always will. I suspect Richardson and Clark fans are also admirers of the writers William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson as their written aesthetic goes with Richardson’s and Clark’s visual aesthetics so well. The image of HST below encapsulates him in a nutshell.
Sorry, I’ve digressed. So these shots of Jonathan Velasquez (below) were taken circa 1995 and as you can see, the visual aesthetic is still alive and kicking in the Supreme Lady Gaga shot. Velasquez was one of the stars in Larry Clark’s controversial 1995 film Kids. It was a hugely important film in my life because it laid down the first layers of what would become the visual aesthetic that I love and influence my taste in films, photography, magazines, art, books, fashion, music, travel and everything else.
Kids is a film that every ‘coming of age’ teenager should see. At the time it was described by The New York Magazine as ‘honest, relentless and brilliant’. The Village Voice went on to describe it as ‘a masterpiece’ and other quotes included ‘a stunning artistic achievement’, ‘a wake-up call to the world’ and ‘one of the most important films of the year’. Kids was directed by Larry Clark and written by Harmony Korine (when Korine was 18 or 19 years of age).
Chloë Sevigny along with the other stars of Kids were pulled from obscurity and their story before the film and how they came to be in the film is fascinating as is the whole history of the film. After the film was made, it was equally fascinating to see the huge effect it had on American and, in particular, LA pop culture. If you are a fan of Larry Clark, then no doubt you love the film work of Vincent Gallo and Gus van Sant. There is also an interesting story between Chloë Sevigny, Harmony Korine and Vincent Gallo with Korine and Gallo verbalising their hatred for each other in the media and it’s said that their loathing of each other is because of a love triangle with Chloë (pictured below in a scene from Kids).
I found this interview with Larry Clark in iconic magazine, Interview Magazine. The shots were taken by Terry Richardson. If you are in London, don’t miss the exhibition at the Simon Lee Gallery entitled ‘Larry Clark: What do you do for fun?’ which runs until 2 April 2011. If you haven’t seen Kids then hopefully all the information in this post and the trailer below will convince you that it’s a must see. But before the trailer: the Kids poster is a masterpiece in itself I think as it’s a beautiful and moving piece of photography. There seems to be a whole story captured in the photograph. It’s full of movement and emotion.
Kids – the trailer!
So back to my original thoughts which really come down to my life long visual aesthetic being initially influenced by Larry Clark and Terry Richardson and that aesthetic from the early 1990′s still being an important aesthetic in pop culture today which is easily noticeable in the relationship between the fashion in Kids then, and American Apparel today. If you are out there Larry and Terry, I think you’re both brilliant!
And if you are reading this post only because Lady Gaga caught your attention in the first picture, then this is for you, the fans of Lady Gaga. Enjoy!
Post Update: Terry Richardson has now deleted his Gaga video but here is a link to the rest of this videos.
Over and out people.
p.s. frogs do it better (if you don’t get the reference, it’s referencing Madonna’s iconic Italians do it better t-shirt).
p.p.s. The wonderful Terry Richardson (and his mother)
Update on post: I found this video by Thieves Like Us which has the Larry Clark effect.