Friday, 20 November 2009

A LaChapelle

Bright, vivid and loud are just a few words that are used to describe David LaChappelle's work. He has been dubbed the feline of photography because he crosses the line between art and celebrity in his work. Like Mario Testino, LaChappelle embraces the celeb rock star element by blowing up that thing that makes that person tick and as a result he makes them larger than life. Raised in South Carolina, David LaChappellle came to NYC at the age of 15. He did not fit in in South Carolina so for him it was NYC or death. At 18 he met Andy Warhol who took a liking to his work and ironically his first job was to take the last photo of Warhol for Interview magazine. Over the next seven years LaChappelle fell into a slump of taking random and mediocre images of weddings and other local events but felt frustrated as he was not creating the work he wanted. He vowed that for his next project he would take pictures that he wanted and to hell with the rest.

LaChappelle was offered a job with a new magazine called Details where he began taking images of celebrities. It was from here that he began to develop his own sense of style and invented his own kind of kitch. Pictures that possess a tension between the dark aspect but also humour and pop art and obsession with beauty were pretty much his bag. He is also a fan of theatrical shoots and more recently he has been creating shoots that revolve around flamboyant sets. LaChappelle has also lent his hands to videos such as Christina Auguilera's Dirty, Kellis's Good Stuff, Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me and many others. However his most famous work has been the Britney's Rolling Stone cover and spread, Tupac in the bath, David Beckham's christ like GQ cover, Anna Kournikova holidng her tennis racket like it is a guitar and Alicia Keyes for Italian Vogue. 

You can check out his wonderful work at his website.

3 cool comments:

Miss Virtue said...

I LOVE his work! In fact he's my favourite photographer!

Brandy Shaloo said...

His work is great, he's one of my favourites.

Iloveknitwear said...

I love his work. One of my favourite photographers. Hope he keeps up the good work!