Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Death is More Perfect Than Life: Larry Clark Vs Margaret Durow

I thought I had posted this ages ago but it seems that I didn't. Margaret Durow is in my opinion the best new young photographer coming out of the states right now and it amazes me that hardly anybody seems to have picked up on her work perhaps its that she is still so young and has (so far) had no formal training. Our buddy's over at doubleplusgoodbooks will be putting out a book of her work sometime this year, a fact which, i have to admit i am jealous to the point of murder. Larry Clark's early work, particularly the book Tulsaseems to be a massive jumping off point for Ms. Durow, inherent in the nihilistic death/youth beauty of these images is a sort of stoned perpetuity, that these images could come from almost any part of America in the last 40 or so years, unchanged.

The surroundings have enough about them to remind me of the starkness inherent in the empty buildings of Francesca Woodman's work but where Woodman and her performers displace this starkness, successfully capturing that point just before puberty kicks in then Durow's images represent the other side of the coin; when the darkness sets in. Retaining none of the youthfull abandon and sheer joy at having ones life set out in front of them which Woodman's figures show, Durows characters seem instead to be soaked in the atmosphere of their surroundings, serving more as a psychic extension of their feelings, imbued more-so with the nihilism inherent in Clarks figures.

That is not to say, however that these are not good pictures. Like Woodman, Durow has been 'dicovered' at a very early stage in what could be called her 'photographic career'; should she wish to pursue it - it seems she is studying for an entirely unrelated degree - her work could become incredibly good. Obviously there are many avenues work like this can go down, and I wish her the best of luck with wherever she chooses to take it.


Margaret Durow

Larry Clark

Francesca Woodman

Margaret Durow

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