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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Larry Clark

Tough & Tender

Billy Mann 1963 by Larry Clark
Billy Mann 1963 by Larry Clark

The tensions of young manhood fascinate Larry Clark. His black-and-white documentary images of young outsiders reveal raw feelings. The photographs in Tough and tender reveal how he sees boys – their bravado a mask for deep emotional need.

Larry Clark was born in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1943. His self-published photo-essay Tulsa 1971 was admired by the photography community for its skilful and honest portrayal of youth’s emotional intensities. Clark continues to explore loss of innocence through his photography and film work. 

The photographs in the exhibition, taken between 1963 and 1979, are selected from the National Gallery of Australia’s holdings of eighty of Clark’s photographs – the most significant collection of his work in Australia.

7 portraits

1Untitled (42nd Street Series) 1979–80 by Larry Clark. 2Benny (42nd Street Series), 1979–80 by Larry Clark.

Related information

Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker

Tough & Tender

Previous exhibition, 2016

Art by Warwick Baker, Chris Burden, Larry Clark, Rozalind Drummond, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Collier Schorr explores personal relations, individual expression and fluid identity.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.