About David Clarkson
In 1965, while serving in the Marine Corps, a friend loaned his camera to me. From the moment I held it and shot a few rolls I somehow felt a connection, a then uncertain joy. After the service I attended CSULB, graduating with a degree in Philosophy. I continued to make photographs and soon converted our bathroom into a darkroom. I was hooked.
Over the next forty years, my family followed my corporate career, living on both coasts and, for an extended time, in the Midwest. After graduate school and a career managing manufacturing businesses that limited my photography efforts, I now devote most of my time to making photographs, a joy no longer uncertain.
Photography reconnects me to my beginnings and who I once was. My Midwestern family and friends included blacksmiths, railroad men, barkeeps, farmers, industrial line workers, and clerks. Few had educations beyond high school. These folks worked hard and stayed close to their birthplace.
I was one of the few that left. However, fifty years of the Marine Corps, university, and corporate life gave me the feeling that I did not belong, loosed from the moorings of my past and uncomfortable in a new life. I traded the familiarity of a small town for the anonymity of the city. Either can kill the soul. Both can provide comfort.
Unfortunately, one cannot go back.
Modern urban environments reconnect me to the folks with whom I lived, loved, and laughed. The settings differ, but the players are much the same. Everyday people leading everyday lives crowd these streets. If I cannot return to what once was, I can at least use my camera to get closer, to somehow make a connection, however fleeting.
With my corporate life complete, I am free to walk and make photographs, while exploring today’s hectic cities, among those who feel familiar to me.
“Perhaps instead of standing at the river’s edge scooping out water, it’s better to be in the current itself, to watch how the river comes up to you, flows smoothly around your presence, and forms again on the other side like you were never there.” Photographer Paul Graham
Exhibitions & Publications
2018 – A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX. One photograph in Street. Juror – Harvey Stein, International Center of Photography and Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, in the East Village of Manhattan
2018 – Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, MA. One image in annual juried membership exhibition, Juror – Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography, Ogden Museum, New Orleans
2018 – Harvey heMilk Photo Center, San Francisco. Surrounded by Reality, curated by Michael Kirscshner, Jim Watkins, RE Casper, Dennis Englander, Dave Christensen
2018 – Frank Bette Center for the Arts, Alameda on Camera, Alameda, CA. Selected as one of 48 photographers for a 48 hour shoot in Alameda, including an exhibition at the gallery. Juror Stephanie Williamson
2018 – PhotoPlace Gallery’s juried exhibition, Capturing the Light. One photograph in the gallery exhibition. Juror Laura Moya
2018 – Best Photo Presented by Through the Lens & Harvey Milk Photo, San Francisco. One photograph in the gallery exhibition. Juror and Curator Kristi Lewis
2018 – Los Angeles Center of Photography, Fourth Annual Street Photography Around the World Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA. One photograph in the gallery exhibition. Juror Gus Powell
2018 – LA Photo Curator – Street Shooting. One image in this online exhibition. Curated by Julia Dean
2017 – F-Stop Magazine – Street Photography, issue #86. Four images in this online ezine. Curated by Christy Karpinski
2017 – New York Center for Photographic Art – Patterns and Shadows, One image with Honorable Mention. Juror Stephen Perloff
2017 – Street Photography Magazine issue #55, featured artist including front page and audible interview.
2017 —Darkroom Gallery, Pathways and Passages, Essex Junction VT. One photograph in gallery exhibition. Juror Stephen Perloff.
2017 — Center for Photographic Art, 2017 Members’ Juried Exhibition, Carmel CA. One photograph in online exhibition. Jurors Elizabeth Corden and Jan Potts
2017 —Darkroom Gallery, Street Wise, Essex Junction VT. One photograph in gallery exhibition. Juror Bruce Gilden.
2017 — Redwood Shores Library Gallery, The Volunteers, Redwood City, CA. Four photographs in gallery exhibition. Curated by Marty Springer
2017 — Center for Photographic Art, Image Makers: 20 Years of Creativity, Carmel CA. One photograph in gallery exhibition. Curator Helaine Glick
2017 — LA ArtCore, 1st Annual Photographic Competition and Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA. One photograph in gallery exhibition. Jurors George Simian, Richard Vogel, Brian C. Moss, Karen Hampton, and Jeff Alu.
2017 — Los Angeles Center of Photography, Third Annual Street Photography Around the World Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA. Three photographs, two in the gallery exhibition and one in online gallery. Juror Craig Semetko
2016 – Harvey Milk Photo Center, eXposed, San Francisco, one photograph, Jurors Dave Christensen, Gordon Szeto, Matt Osborne, Grant Rusk, Dwayne Newton, Roxanne Worthington, Jennifer McFarland
2016 — Center for Photographic Art, 2016 Members’ Juried Exhibition, Carmel CA. One photograph in gallery exhibition. Juror Heather Snider
2015 — Los Angeles Center of Photography, Second Annual Street Photography Around the World Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA. One photograph in the gallery exhibition. Juror Matt Stuart
2015 — Inspired Eye, Edition #19, March, one of the featured artists