53 x 40″
Digital C Print
Edition of 7
After the Deluge: Statue by David LaChapelle
Statue by David LaChapelle depicts a museum in several stages of disrepair. A seemingly priceless work of classical sculpture loosely modeled on classical sculpture is submerged in a flood at the center of a room derelict of human presence.
LaChapelle confronts his love of Roman art with the growing fidelity to material goods and is here referencing Antonio Canova, a sculptor from Passagno, who was just thirty years old when he was commissioned by the Scottish colonel Sir John Campbell to create the sculpture of Cupid and Psyche. The figures of Cupid and Psyche are standing, Cupid completely naked, Psyche modestly draped, he with his arm around her shoulders. She is crowned with a garland of flowers to symbolize the innocence of young love. The love between the two characters is represented simply, somewhat naively, by this crowning gesture.
The love affair between Cupid and Psyche is one of the best known classical myths, recounted in the Latin novel The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Many Neoclassical paintings and sculptures derived inspiration from the story. Cupid, lover of the mortal Psyche, forbids her to cast eyes upon him and visits her only at night. Disobeying him, Psyche holds a light over his sleeping body, for which she is punished by Aphrodite. The scene conveyed by this modello is of Psyche being rescued in Cupid’s embrace.
In 2006, LaChapelle decided to minimize his participation in commercial photography, and return to his roots by focusing on fine art photography. Statue from the Deluge series marks this transition.