Lawrence Donald Clark is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for the movie Kids and his photography book Tulsa. His most common subject is youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex and violence, and who are part of a subculture (such as surfing, punk rock or skateboarding).
Clark learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and Clark himself was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13. He was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. His experiences there led him to publish the book Tulsa in 1971. It was a landmark work: a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white. His follow-up was Teenage Lust (1983), an "autobiography" of his teen past through the images of others.
In 1993, Clark directed Chris Isaak's music video "Solitary Man". His first feature film, Kids was released to controversy and moderate critical acclaim in 1995. In both his photographic and cinematic works, Clark pursues a set of related themes: the destructiveness of dysfunctional family relationships, masculinity and the roots of violence, religious intolerance and bigotry, the links between mass imagery and social behaviors, and the construction of identity and sexuality in adolescence.
His photographs are part of public collections at several prestigious art museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.