Working with pop and movie stars has made David LaChapelle famous, and his style has left its characteristic mark on contemporary photography: Brightly coloured, powerful and bordering on provocation, his works make a confident impression on observers. But behind the highly aesthetic surface, inspired by pop culture, the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque, by cinema and also by pornography, LaChappelle deals with hot topics. His serious artistic intention is often only recognisable at second glance. The fragrant pictures of the Earth Laughs in Flowers series could just as well be images of Baroque still
life. Then you discover articles of daily use and the rubbish of civilisation, which transforms the harmless sujets into explosive metaphors of the transience of our time. Due to its introspectiveness, The Rape of Africa also seems to be an allegory in a work by one of the old masters. But the bitter reality can be found in the background: The continent is exploited by the West, the rich white man sleeps in peace and refuses to hear the alarm clock.