David LaChapelle, Milky Maidens, 1996. Photo
Debunking, excessive, extremely pop, David LaChapelle is one of the most genial and unpredictable minds of our time. Considered as the “Fellini of photography“, he shows his talent in fields of fashion, advertising, art photography, music video, theatrical event and documentary film. “He was hired by Andy Warhol. He fired Madonna. He photographed Pamela Anderson and Lady Gaga and also Hillary Clinton, and made a star of the transgender apparition Amanda Lepore” (The New York Times).
David LaChapelle, Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, Burning Down the House , 1996. Photo
His photos are a kaleidoscope of flaming colours, surreal, dreamy and bizarre, with baroque compositions and extroverted style, filled with sensuality, fantasy, and dark adventure, packed with accessible popular images. Photo settings are studied in every smallest detail and the amazing use of lights minimizes the need of digital retouches. Bombastic colours, photo characters that become their own caricature, unconstrained reminds to Renaissance art and a combination of decay and vanitas, make his photography extremely bizarre and refined.
David LaChapelle, Couture story series, A Taste of Power, 1995. Photo
He combines unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages, picture story with surrealism. He has photographed hundreds of celebrities, always depicted provocatively, usually in full or partial nudity: Courtney Love, Pamela Anderson, Amanda Lepore, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Uma Thurman, Rose McGowan, Hillary Clinton, Lance Armstrong and David Beckham. “David LaChapelle continues to be inspired by everything from art history and street culture, to the Hawaiian jungle in which he lives, projecting an image of twenty-first century pop culture through his work that is both loving and critical. He is quite simply the only photographic artist working today who has transitioned flawlessly from the world of fashion and celebrity photography to be enshrined by the notoriously discerning contemporary art intelligentsia”.
David LaChapelle, The Birth of Venus, 2009. Photo
His book “Hotel LaChapelle” is one of the most sold photography book of all time. He has had record breaking solo museum exhibitions at the Barbican Museum, London (2002), Palazzo Reale, Milan (2007), Museo del Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (2009), the Musee de La Monnaie, Paris (2009), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. In 2011, he has had a major exhibition of new work at The Lever House, New York and retrospectives at the Museo Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (through March 2012), the Hangaram Design Museum in Seoul (through February 2012) and Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (through February 2012).
David LaChapelle, Ecstasy Lover: Fashion John Galliano, 1997. Photo
Some of the galleries he has exhibited in are: Tony Shafrazi and Paul Kasmin galleries in New York, Robilant + Voena in London, Alain Noirhomme Gallery in Brussels, Galerie Thomas, Munich and de Sarthe, Hong Kong. In 2012, LaChapelle is breaking new ground in his own career by showing an exhibition titled Earth Laughs in Flowers at four different international galleries simultaneously: Reformierte Dorfkirche in St. Moritz, branches of Robilant + Voena in London and Milan, and Fred Torres Collaborations in New York.