The Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently featuring an exhibition by Dave LaChapelle titled Still Life on view at both of the gallery’s locations. For this show, LaChapelle presents several photographs that he took of broken and disembodied wax figures of politicians and celebrities.
After learning of an incident of vandalism that occurred in 2009 at the National Wax Museum in Dublin, Ireland, LaChapelle became intrigued and was granted permission to photograph the mutilated figures. LaChapelle went a step further by taking more photographs at two other museums in California and Nevada respectively.
Notable pop cultural icons depicted in this show and photographed individually include Ronald Reagan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Michael Jackson. One photograph in particular titled Anonymous Politicians, illustrates a cluster of detached ears, hands, noses, and faces of political figures including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
LaChapelle expanded on this show. Still Life is also an expansion on the theme of one of the artist’s earlier shows titled Earth Laughs in Flowers that consisted of still life that conveyed themes of contemporary vanity and vice, transience of earthly possessions, and the fragility of human nature.
LaChapelle’s works are featured in many public and private collections and has exhibited at museums and galleries nationally and internationally. He lives and works in Maui, Hawaii. At The Paul Kasmin Gallery's two Chelsea locations at 515 W. 27th St., and 293 Tenth Ave. through Jan. 19th. Both locations are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Text By Alison Martin