Opening on September 9, David LaChapelle’s first major solo show in North America will take place at New York City’s La Fotografiska, making it its first ever museum-wide exhibition. The show, titled make BELIEVE, is comprised of over 150 works.
According the the museum’s website: “The collection reflects an oeuvre that blurs reality and fantasy while highlighting the artists’ most iconic works and presenting new creations for the very first time.”
Who is David LaChapelle?
For those of you who are unfamiliar, David LaChapelle is an American photographer, film director, and director of music videos. He is renowned for his fashion and photographic work, which frequently makes elusive and niche references to art history and occasionally uses this medium to convey social messages.
His photographs have been called subversive and bordering on Kitsch. LaChapelle has contributed to major periodicals, his work shown in institutions and commercial galleries all over the world.
Having photographed the likes of Tupac, Michael Jackson, among many other iconic figures in pop culture, David LaChapelle has historically taken the art of photography to higher, more elevated, and surreal efforts.
LaChapelle has been a true visionary in the field as he’s been behind some of the most famous photographs in music, fashion, and art over the past 40 years. His hyperreal, intensely saturated, and complex approach mixes the fantastical with the mundane, giving new meaning to celebrity photography.
What to expect
Along with photographs of David Bowie, Madonna, and Britney Spears, the exhibition will include renowned pieces, like Andy Warhol’s final portrait and a naked photo of the rapper Eminem. LaChapelle has released over 40 books and has created 19 Rolling Stone covers, in addition to capturing album artwork for artists like Travis Scott and Fleetwood Mac.
The exhibition at Fotografiska will delve beneath the surface of LaChapelle’s artistic style to examine the interplay of cultural themes like religion, the environment, gender identity, body image, and the creation of celebrity. It will be divided into 5 sections and spread across all 6 floors of the gallery.
The art world is highly anticipating this massive survey of the photographer’s work, especially at Fotografiska, New York’s branch of the Swedish photography museum, which opened in 2019, right before the pandemic caused the city’s shutdown in March 2020.
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Photo via David LaChapelle