PhotoLyfe: Matt Clark
A closer look at one of New York’s most maniacally driven sharp-shooters.
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.”
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?
Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?
Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.
Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers
An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.
PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua
Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.
Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine
Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.
The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo
Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast
Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.
Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”
"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…
How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months
Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.
Sweeter Than Stolen Honey
A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.
15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event
And Clay Marzo takes the dub.
Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way?
The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.
The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together
Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.
Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave
Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge
A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…
First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards
Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?