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David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle - Biography of the Artist

Born in Connecticut in 1963, David LaChapelle is one of the world's most important and most influential contemporary photographers. His career in photography began in the 1980s, when the king of Pop Art, Andy Warhol, noticed the talented young photographer and hired him for a series of covers for Interview magazine, the U.S. periodical founded by Warhol himself.

It was during the 1990s that the photographer's fame exploded and he began to collaborate with prominent magazines such as Vogue, The Face, DETAILS, Vanity Fair and New York Times Magazine.

The artist's long career is not only marked by the numerous collaborations with the most important fashion magazines: he also made music videos for the most important Pop-Contemporary artists.

 The young artist's talent was evident from the beginning; in fact, in 1997 he won the Art Directors Award for the first collection of his photographs as best book and best graphic design. To date he is among the top ten most famous photographers in the world to the extent that he has international exhibitions in galleries and museums such as the National Portrait Gallery in London, Monnaie de Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musee D'Orsay and the National Portrait Gallery in the United States.

David LaChapelle - Photography and Art

Over the years in the works by David LaChapelle, photography and art become one.

He experimented with different types of photographic genres, coming up with original photoshoots that stand as true works of art.

The turning point in the photographer's style came in 2006, when he visited the Sistine Chapel for the first time. As the artist repeatedly declared, Michelangelo through the masterpiece created in the Vatican managed to give a turning point in the artistic career of the photographer, who decided to leave the world of advertising to devote himself completely and entirely to art.

David LaChapelle - Artworks and Style

The style of David LaChapelle's artworks is extremely recognizable. Surreal shots, characterized by bright, fluorescent colors that accentuate dreamlike photographic compositions bordering on the bizarre.

Described as the “Fellini of photography”, LaChapelle's style can be traced back to the baroque because of the abundance of elements in his shots. His photographs are characterized by a distinct irony and a clear vision of contemporary society.

His shots are strongly constructed to depict the modern world in his own way, that is, very Pop and with minimal intellectualism; they are the result of craftsmanship in which compositions are elaborate and colors are saturated. LaChapelle's photography is not pure reportage but true scenic art where each shot stems from a project and a need in telling the story of modern society.

In 1991 the New York Times wrote, "LaChapelle will surely influence the work of a generation ... in the same way that Mr. Avedon pioneered what is familiar today."

His influence over the years has been so important and discussed that the master of fashion photography, Richard Avedon declared that among the many photographers who had taken surreal shots over the years, LaChapelle was the only one who had the potential to be the Magritte of his genre.

Among his major influences, in addition to Michelangelo, are artists such as Salvador Dali, Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman and the painters Caravaggio and Andrea Pozzo.

Today, LaChapelle's artistic production emphasizes environmental issues. The artist has created a series of photos that emphasize the relationship between man-made constructions and nature and how they disturb the surrounding landscape.

"I love to create through the use of imagination, turning my dreams into images" - David LaChapelle

Denouncing the American Dream

In many shoots LaChapelle criticizes the American Dream, the myth that wealth is the only measure of success and happiness, and people can reach it through commitment and hard work.

A famous LaChapelle shot reflecting this topic is Death by Hamburger, where a girl is covered by a giant inflatable hamburger, an icon of American hyper-consumerism.

Portraying celebrities

David LaChapelle is also known as a celebrity portraitist.

Numerous stars from the most diverse backgrounds have been captured with LaChapelle's highly personal and unmistakable style.

Among the celebrities photographed there are Courtney Love, Pamela Anderson, Amanda Lepore Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Elizabeth Taylor, Valeria Marini, River Phoenix, Drew Barrymore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Uma Thurman, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Travis Scott, Hillary Clinton, David Beckham, and Whitney Houston.

Myths of Christianity

After David LaChapelle visited the Sistine Chapel, he series of shots with a biblical nature in which the myths of Christianity, religious icons, and biblical scenes are reinterpreted in a modern key and become a warning and a reinterpretation of modern society based on consumerism. 

One example is The Holy Family with St. Francis in which the Holy Family is portrayed in a Pop, kitsch way.

David LaChapelle: not just photography

An eclectic artist driven by the impulse to experiment, LaChapelle has managed to embrace art in all its forms.

Starting with a career as a fashion photographer, he has also managed to build a reputation and career in film and theater as well as being a much sought-after producer of music videos.

There are also several collaborations with major international brands for the creation of advertising campaigns such as: Tommy Hilfiger, Schweppes, Nokia, Lavazza, Armani Jeans, Motorola, L'Oréal, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Smirnoff, H&M and Burger King.

David LaChapelle: Works for Sale with Prices and Value at Deodato Arte

For those interested in David LaChapelle prints and works for sale Deodato Arte offers a selection of the artist's works for sale online.

If interested in finding out about David LaChapelle, prices, value or which works will be on display at Deodato Arte Contemporary Art Gallery, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to [email protected].