Tuesday, May 15, 2007

David La Chapelle

David La Chapelle

For the art world, the celebrated glamour photographer David La Chapelle (b. 1969) is a guilty pleasure. His sex-soaked color photos of celebrities and fashion models are just too high key. Nothing is held back. The lily is not only gilded, but drenched in rhinestones, draped in haute couture and surrounded by the most exotic props imaginable.

It's about time. Minimalism is, like, so 40 years ago. In addition to his photographs, the Los Angeles-based La Chapelle has made many music videos for performers ranging from Elton John to Gwen Stefani. He's published half a dozen photo books, most recently Artists & Prostitutes 1985-2005, a 688-page collection from Taschen that retails at an impressive $2,500.

David La Chapelle has evolved his photography into an idiosyncratic and highly personal combination of reportage and surrealism. La Chapelle is one of photography's brightest stars, bringing high intensity, larger than life images to the pages of magazines worldwide.

Initially distinguished by his campy fixation with white-trash culture,
La Chapelle is also known for his groundbreaking use of computer
manipulation and futuristic fashion shoots and for placing hollywood celebrities from Madonna, Uma Thurman, Elton John to Drew Barrymore to
the X-files' David Duchovny in wildly imaginative and often compromising erotically charged settings.

La Chapelle's monstrosities are that breed of gaunt, blemishless human built
and enslaved by heavy makeup, lighting and the glorifying voodoo of photographic attention, e.g., models, transsexuals and Leonardo Dicaprio. It is a prophecy of even scurvier spiritual illness yet to come from our
media-centric society, in the not-so-distant future.






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