I’m back in Taipei tomorrow and my first stop is MOCA which has an exhibition of David LaChappelle’s photography. His photography is often described as surreal, grotesque, shocking and ironic. I think he is generally imaginative and funny.
From the exhibition introduction:
The creative inspiration of LaChapelle comes from the classical heritage of art history to daily life elements related to the street culture. The result is a series of spectacular works interwoven by past and present; a mixture of refined and popular tastes. His works are also a mirror and see-through lens of the multifaceted popular culture. Standing between glamorous and commercial cultures, the artist is not limited to the purpose of his works, thus transcending market trends and common traditions. LaChapelle is one of the few photographers that have been long accepted and regarded as a model by the often overcritical European and American contemporary art.
Since 2008, LaChapelle began to held exhibitions and lectures at some of the world’s prominent art museums, receiving very positive feedbacks everywhere he went. In 2010, LaChapelle selected the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, as his first stop in Asia. In such opportunity, the artist will exhibit approximately 250 works created from 1985 to 2009. These works are categorized into eight sections: Heaven to Hell, Deluge and Salvation, Disaster and Destruction, Vanity, Meditation, Recollections in America, Auguries of Innocence, and Holy War. The core concept and creative focus in these works is one: From the people, back to the people.
On his background:
Before long, he was shooting for top international publications and creating the most memorable advertising campaigns of his generation. His striking images have appeared on and between the covers of magazines such as Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone and i-D. He has photographed personalities as diverse as Tupac Shakur, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Amanda Lepore, Eminem, Philip Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Pamela Anderson, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Paris Hilton, Jeff Koons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Clinton, Muhammad Ali and Britney Spears, to name just a few.
In an extended interview with Dazed Digital David LaChapelle talks about his relationship with Andy Warhol and walking away from the fashion glossies:
I thought, I’ve got nothing left to say in the arena of fashion. As I got older, my themes became more difficult for magazines to digest, and it just seemed like the time to quit… I was confronted with the idea that my themes were not palatable for fashion magazines any longer.
David LaChapelle, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei
April 9th – May 30th, 2010