Since day one, the skateboarding culture has viewed life differently than everyone else. It's always been blind to race, gender and age. It's produced the most forward thinking people on the planet. Even now as it has grown into astronomical proportions it still keeps the same core values. It's the most modern tribe on the planet and If you skate you understand what this means. Photographer Clarence K. has captured today's New York City skater in the most honest and realist way.
I was first exposed to the world of skateboarding through my friend and roommate, professional skater John Grigley. When I expressed an interest in taking portraits at skate parks, he immediately agreed to help me and made introductions to some of his friends, allowing me to access to this world. One thing led to another and soon I would begin heading to skate parks on my own. I would make weekly, sometimes daily visits to the skateparks of NYC. The people I have photographed have been without exception, very kind and generous with their time.
For the past 25 years, I have worked as a fashion photographer, and occasionally a celebrity portrait photographer, though my passion was in portraiture. For the first time in my long career, I feel like I am taking the photographs that I’ve always wanted to take in my series “Skate Homies.”
On a technical note, I particularly enjoy the immediacy of working alone without an assistant. I prefer to use a simple set up which allows me to quickly establish a rapport with my subject. The work is inspired by Richard Avedon’s body of work In the American West. Even though this project culminates in this show, I intend this body of work to be open-ended and will continue taking portraits of skateboarders and I am looking forward to bringing it into book form.