David LaChapelle is a critically acclaimed photographer, best known for his hyper-profound social messages filtered through a surrealist lens of highly contrasted and vivid color schemes. LaChapelle is one of few photographers to successfully straddle the divide between the contemporary art world and celebrity filled editorial campaigns.
LaChapelle comes from a generation of artists taken under the wing of Andy Warhol in the 1980’s, whose influence is clearly reflected in LaChapelle’s photographs. His subjects generally include Hollywood sex symbols and post-apocalyptic consumer societies with obvious reference to religious iconography and art history.
The MAC is pleased to present a condensed compilation of David LaChapelle’s life’s work thus far. His first series on display, Good News for Modern Man, is a selection of black and white photographs reminiscent of Italian Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelites. Negative Currency follows as large colorful magnifications of international currency. The next selection, Earth Laughs in Flowers, is a take on Flemish still life made modern with flower bouquets adorned with dated everyday household items. The selections from Still Life contain found wax replicas of celebrities broken down into busts, limbs and digits, strategically placed within a cardboard box backdrop. Recollections in America contains 1970’s snapshots of family gatherings reappropriated into a collaged dystopian retrogrades. Land Scapes, LaChapelle’s most recent work from this exhibition, illustrates oil refinery plants lit up with eerie iridescent colors that highlight the triumph of the industrial revolution.
Sometimes satirical and at other times nostalgic, David LaChapelle’s work exhibits a critique of twenty-first century pop culture with loving imagery. The artist uses his photographic medium as a mirror held up to public, displaying the world we live in where consumerism rules and idolism fuels. This exhibition is not to be missed.
About David LaChapelle
David LaChapelle's career as a photographer began in the 1980s when his work caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who offered him his first job as a photographer at Interview Magazine. LaChapelle’s photographs of celebrities received high praise and he soon began to shoot for the best publishing houses, creating some of the most famous advertising campaigns of his generation.
The most striking of LaChapelle’s images have graced the covers and pages of Italian and French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone and iD. In addition to the editorial campaigns LaChapelle photographed some of the most famous faces on the planet, including Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Andy Warhol, Philip Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Pamela Anderson, Lil 'Kim, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Jeff Koons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Britney Spears, Amanda Lepore, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, to name a few.
After establishing himself as a heavyweight in contemporary photography, LaChapelle decided to diversify and began directing music videos, live theatrical events and documentary films. His directing credits include music videos for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Moby, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears and No Doubt. His stage work includes The Red Piano with Elton John at Caesar's Palace, in which he designed and directed. His growing interest in film led him to shoot the short Krumped, which became a Sundance award winner. Then came RIZE, the feature that Lion Gate Films acquired for worldwide distribution.
In 2006 LaChapelle decided to minimize his involvement in commercial photography and return to its roots by focusing on fine arts photography. Since then, he has exhibited in commercial galleries and worldwide public institutions.