Friday, February 19, 2010

Larry Clark's TULSA (Art Edition by the Grove Press, 2000)

This installment, we'll take a look at a rare Art Edition of Larry Clark's 1971 book Tulsa, published by the Grove Press in 2000 (Tulsa was originally published by Lustrum Press, a press founded by photographer Ralph Gibson). Tulsa is a devastating little book, featuring beautifully intimate photos depicting Clark's involvement with the amphetamine-shooting youth of Tulsa, OK. Clark's work is often quite graphic and unsettling but buried underneath the drugs and sex is some of the most honest photography I've ever come across. He's captured a very strange cross-section of growing up that is uncomfortably easy to identify with, regardless of how straight-laced or fractured our teenage years were.

This edition of Tulsa is a hardcover, slipcased edition. The book is limited to 250 copies worldwide, each signed and numbered by Clark. Tucked into the front endpapers is a previously unpublished 8 x 10 print, signed and numbered on the back. Recently back from the framers, this now hangs in our entryway.


It's fairly easy to track down copies of Tulsa in used bookstores--I've run into a number of paperback versions while perusing through shops. This Art Edition, however, came from Powell's in Seattle. Earlier in the blog I mentioned that Powell's offers to buy books from people over the internet via an ISBN-input system. I decided early on when I started selling my old high school-era books to Powell's that I'd go the "store credit" route and save up for something very rare. It feels great to know this edition is made up of recycled Jack Kerouac and Nick Hornby books.

Currently Reading:
Big in Japan : A ghost story (M. Thomas Gammarino)
New Essays on the Crying of Lot 49 (Patrick O'Donnell, ed.)
Imperial (William T. Vollmann)

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