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Larry Clark shoots teens in J.W. Anderson’s Pre-AW collection for "The smell of us" zine, Document Journal

J.W. Anderson on his Larry Clark obsession

To celebrate the release of their collaborative zine, the designer talks his favourite Clark creations and hanging out with the cult director

When the cross-disciplinary magazine Document Journal asked Jonathan Anderson who his dream collaborator would be, he immediately said Larry Clark. “I’ve got practically every book and I’ve seen every one of his films,” said Anderson. “I’ve loved everything he’s done since Kids. I felt like such a rebel going to see it. My parents were maybe not so impressed.” Lo and behold, Clark immediately agreed to work with Anderson on a special shoot that featured the cast of Clark’s latest film about Parisian skaters, The Smell of Us, self-styling with Anderson’s Pre-AW menswear collection. The resulting images have been put together in a zine of the same title to be included within the SS15 issue of Document Journal – it was launched at Colette yesterday with Clark’s favourite band Revolt (fronted by Jonathan Velasquez the star of Clark’s 2006 film Wassup Rockers).

It might not be immediately obvious, but the common ground between both Anderson and Clark’s work is an exploration of youth and all possible ramifications that growing up and finding yourself can hit upon. “I think he’s really important and significant in the portrayal of youth culture. And when you believe in something – as much as it may feel wrong or right – you just have to show it. Real life is difficult – some people find that hard to process.” Both Anderson and Clark’s realities collide in this collaborative photo series. On the shoot, Anderson said it was less like work but more of an enlightening experience. “We were all there in an apartment - drinking beer, talking about art and music. It went on all day. There was the energy of collaborating. It didn’t feel like we were shooting.”

J.W. ANDERSON’S ULTIMATE LARRY CLARK MOMENTS:

1992 – In this book, Clark inserts himself in to the lives of five teenage boys over the course of several years, resulting in an honest portrayal of adolescent masculine identity, violence and sexuality.

KIDS – 1995 saw the release of Clark's notorious film Kids, which centered on the lives of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the mid-1990s.

KEN PARK – Released in 2002, this film revolves around the abusive and dysfunctional lives of a group of Californian teens and was based on Larry Clark's personal journals.

“WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?” – This exhibition of photo collages at the Simon Lee gallery in 2011 featured a series of new and old works consisting of newspaper clippings, found photographs, drawings and posters alongside the artist’s personal notes and photographs.