Discovered by Andy Warhol at the age of 17, world-renowned Photographer David LaChapelle (1963-) began working for Interview Magazine in the 1980s, where he rapidly acquired International recognition for his remarkable talent in combining a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages. His early work scrutinized the themes of mortality, pop culture and transcendence through the medium of photography.
LaChapelle’s photography career began in the 1980s when he started to show his artwork at several New York City galleries and caught the eye of Artist Andy Warhol. Since then, his eye-catching and compelling photographs of celebrities and pop culture have graced the covers and pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and many more, as well as having photographed some of the most recognizable faces in contemporary pop culture such as Amy Winehouse, Andy Warhol, Tupac Shakur and Hillary Clinton, just to name a few.
LaChapelle is known for his colorful, contemporary and conceptual imagery which bears the influence of both Surrealism and Pop Art. In 1995, he shot the famous “kissing sailors” advertisement for Diesel, which was staged at the peace celebration of World War II. This became one of the first public advertisement showing a gay or lesbian couple kissing. LaChapelle has cited many artists who have helped shape his art such as Salvador Dali, Jeff Koons, and Cindy Sherman, along with discussing the influence of the Baroque and Renaissance painters in his work. LaChapelle’s artwork is often amusing, entertaining and provocative, frequently using nudity in pursuance of attempting to shock and humor his audience, as well as aspiring to connect with the Renaissance fascination with the nude. Artist Helmut Newton acknowledged LaChapelle’s work and commented that A lot of the nudity is just gratuitous. But someone who makes me laugh is David LaChapelle. I think he’s very bright, very funny, and good.”.
After establishing himself as a fixture in contemporary photography, LaChapelle decided to branch out and he began directing music videos, live theatrical events and creating documentary films. LaChapelle directed videos for numerous acclaimed artists such as Christina Aguilera, Moby, Jennifer Lopez, and Amy Winehouse. His enthusiasm of film led him to create the short documentary “Krumped”, which became an award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, from which he created and wrote the documentary film “Rize” (2005), which exposed the new dance form known as Clowning and Krumping. “Rize” brought to light a revolutionary form of artistic expression in LA that was born from oppression.
After tremendous success in commercial photography, music videos, and filmmaking, LaChapelle returned to the gallery setting where he first began. He clarified to The Guardian Newspaper that he needed to escape the “propaganda” embedded in his work, stating that he never “wanted to shoot another pop star”. His work today explores the metaphysical themes of his earliest work, referencing art history and religious iconography to make profound commentaries on the contemporary world. “I reintroduce my personal ideas of transfiguration, regaining paradise, and the notion of life after death” revealed the artist. These photographs explore the concepts of salvation, redemption, paradise, and consumerism.
In 2017, LaChapelle released the fourth and fifth installments of his five-book anthology which began with “LaChapelle Land” (196), then “Hotel LaChapelle” (1999) and followed by “Heaven to Hell” (2006). These two new and final installments compile old and new work. The fourth book “Lost and Found Part 1” provides a visual record of today’s societal and cultural challenges, which are expressed through his unique and unconventional vision and perspective. This book chronicles LaChapelle’s strongest images to date, while encapsulating our time in history, and traces his career from his emergence through Warhol, to his ascent to the status of global icon in the art world. The book features famous figures such as Britney Spears, David Bowie, Hillary Clinton and many more. This is the darker of the two volumes and presents these celebrities at the height of their exuberance through renaissance-like portraits and scenes. LaChapelle offers a bridge into paradise and the sublime, leading the viewers into volume two. Volume Two, and the final book in the series is titled “Good News Part II” and it explores LaChapelle’s spiritual and artistic revival following his retreat to a rural idyll in Maui, Hawaii. This book provides hope and an optimistic outlook on his absurd scenes which feature images of Michael Jackson, Tupac and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few. This volume of religious symbolism and lush tropics represents the final chapter in LaChapelle’s narrative, which has captivated a generation of viewers across the globe.
Guy Hepner Contemporary Art Gallery in New York is pleased to present David LaChapelle prints, currency, Jesus, studio, fashion photographs for sale. Inquire about prices to buy David LaChapelle fine artworks.
- To Andy From David: A Tribute to Andy Warhol From David LaChapelle
- David LaChapelle: Vice and Virtue
- David LaChapelle: Earth Laughs In Flowers
- David LaChapelle’s Lost + Found, Part I and Good News, Part II
- Deluge by David LaChapelle
- David LaChapelle Goes Industrial
- David LaChapelle Brings the Bright and Gaudy