LaChapelle’s take on the hedonistic, lust-oriented and affluent society

David LaChapelle holds a mirror up to a hedonistic, lust-oriented and affluent society

With his garish images, David LaChapelle holds a mirror up to a hedonistic, lust-oriented and affluent society.

It is as if we were staring into the faces of Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, as only Andy Warhol could have rendered them. But we are actually looking at Amanda Lepore, one of David LaChapelle’s favourite models whom he casts, chameleon-like, in everchanging roles – whether garishly overly made-up, as a naked Cupid or with a salaciously cut watermelon between her open thighs.

With both of these arranged portraits, LaChapelle makes an artistic allusion to his pop-art idol, Andy Warhol. It was Warhol who gave LaChapelle, then still in high school, assignments for his Interview magazine and encouraged him in his career.

They are contemporary, ironic and sometimes provocative images from the machine of dreams and desires that is the USA, filled with well-known pop musicians, actors, athletes and models of the most varying of colours.

With the appearance of the much praised and awarded book, LaChapelle Land (1996), LaChapelle became the rising star of the fashion and advertisement photography scene, and LaChappelle’s sometimes bizarre pictures have appeared in magazines such as i-D, The Face, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Playboy.

You’ve definitely seen David’s work. Having worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, David is a Surrealist photographer who first cut his teeth under the tutelage of Andy Warhol at interview Magazine at the tender age of 17. Today, David focuses on gallery exhibitions and museum shows. He talks to us about being bullied as a kid, his first shows in friend’s apartments and the importance of self-discipline.

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