Sunday, December 5, 2010

X-Rated in Paris

Controversial photographer, Larry Clark, doesn't picture a pretty world. Clark's retrospective, Kiss the Past Hello, at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, caused such a stir before it opened that the exhibition is prohibited for those under 18. If you saw his startling first film, Kids, you know Clark doesn't shy away from underage sex, drugs and drinking. Neither do his explicit photographs. Reportedly, the exhibit threatened to break a 2007 law against pornographic photographs being shown to minors, brought in under Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, which caused an international uproar about censorship.

This headline grabbing show contains 200 prints, spanning five decades, which unspool in chronological order. Since Clark's mother was a baby photographer, who roped him into the family business as her assistant by the time he was 13, the show starts with some of her standard newborn pictures and animal portraits. Mythic images from Clark's Tulsa series and photographs from his Teenage Lust (1983) period follow. Clark continues to focus on marginal teenagers having sex, shooting up drugs, and playing with firearms in the 90s and the 2000s. Departing from his usual black and white images, Clark uses color to capture rising stakeboarder, Jonathan Velasquez, who starred in Clark's film, Wassup Rockers.

The naked truth? While Clark's images aren't for everyone, they expose the fringe many of us may not see. Sometimes, an alternative perspective is the wake-up call one needs to appreciate what they have. Get over to Paris before January 2nd if you want to see what you've been missing.

Is Paris, or another international hub, on your Christmas List? Enter the Cheesecake Factory's Joy to the World Giveaway, and you could win round trip air fare for two to any international hub, four nights in a hotel, and $500 to spend. Sound like a piece of cake? Enter!

Voilà - the link to the Cheesecake Factory's Joy to the World Giveaway:

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