Stab Magazine | PhotoLyfe: Matt Clark

PhotoLyfe: Matt Clark

A closer look at one of New York’s most maniacally driven sharp-shooters.

style // Oct 1, 2017
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome back to PhotoLyfe, in which Stab’s favourite photographers answer questions about themselves with their own images. It’s that old picture-tells-a-thousand-words chestnut but with more colour and pop. It’s a way to cut out all the bullshit. It’s like jacking into the main vein of those who supply us with exquisite surf imagery every day. Give thanks by studying each image with a more careful eye than ever!

New York native Matthew Clark has been one of our favourite underground lensmen since he blew our minds ten years ago with his Follow the Light-winning portfolio. In the last decade, Clark’s spent plenty of time on the road, hopping on trips when he can; but as a faithful Long Islander he’s never turned his back on the ridiculously photogenic coast where he cut his teeth, building one of New York’s most remarkable archives.  

“At age 33, I’m still questioning if this is what I’ll do for the rest of my life, and occasionally wonder if the big payoff will simply be looking back in a retrospective about all of the work I’ve created,” Clark tells us, in his classically understated manner.

Most swells you can find Clark sneaking onto Long Beach, New York condominium rooftops, looking for a new angle, or swimming up-current, often alone, layered thick in two full-suits of neoprene, enduring hours upon hours in near-freezing water, taking cold-front bombs on the head, working Long Island’s remarkable light spectrum into a photographic frenzy. 

Clark’s psychedelic speed blurs, frigid-feeling lineups, and extraordinary understanding of Long Island’s incandescence have earned him magazine covers and high praise from the New York gallery world (though, remarkably, his prints are still more than affordable)

“I’m a pretty quiet, contemplative person, who can laugh about anything, and I’m so humbled to get praised for my point of view, especially from other photographers I look up to,” Clark says. “I love to look at photography and artwork being created outside of the surf world to draw inspiration from. And though, my love of photography is only surpassed by riding waves themselves, I’m more than happy to sacrifice scoring perfect barrels for the chance to document them, attempting to create work that others will take a moment to look at and feel something.”

To check out more of Matt’s imagery here and follow him on IG here

1. Describe yourself. 


2. Where are you from?


3. What got you into photography?


4. Where do you wish you were right now?


5. What inspires you?


6. Who is your favourite person to photograph?


7. What makes the best photograph?



9. Describe your mood right now.


10. What else should we know about you?



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