Lawrence Donald "Larry" Clark is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film Kids (1995) and his photography book Tulsa. His work focuses primarily on youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex, and violence, and who are part of a specific subculture, such as surfing, punk rock or skateboarding.
Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and he was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13. In 1959, Clark began injecting amphetamines with his friends.
Clark attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied under Walter Sheffer and Gerhard Bakker. In 1964, he moved to New York City to freelance, but was drafted within two months to serve in the Vietnam War. His experiences there led him to publish the 1971 book Tulsa, a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white.
Routinely carrying a camera, from 1963 to 1971 Clark produced pictures of his drug-shooting coterie that have been described by critics as "exposing the reality of American suburban life at the fringe and ... shattering long-held mythical conventions that drugs and violence were an experience solely indicative of the urban landscape."