Friday, 11 April 2014

Surrealist Photographer David LaChapelle

Once called the 'Fellini of photography', American David LaChapelle is a reknowned photographer and director who works in the fields of fashion, advertising, film and fine art photography. His style is a clever blend of pop and surrealism. The humour, bold colours, giant sets, glitz and glamour, freaks, soft pornography, crazy costumes, religious connotations, famous people......these are all trademarks of the photographer who likes to shock! 
Elton John

He is recognised for his surreal and sexualized style, working with a myriad of famous people, photographing them in quite often compromising poses and settings. His work has been described as surrealist, grotesque, shocking and ironic. Yet you can't argue the fact that his work is strong and individualistic sending strong political, religious and social messages whilst still maintaining humour!  Looking at any of his images long enough (especially in the later years), many complex stories emerge about human nature, materialism,consumption and environment. I have several of his books....he is not new on the scene ( he has been photographing for over 20 years) and many of you may know him. His film RIZE released in 2005, a documentary on the dance movements " clowning" and  "krumping" formed in the poorer areas of LA.........I just loved.  
Although he has published a series of interesting books and some are quite controversial, in this post, I'll stick to the lighter side with his depictions of famous people. Please go to his website here to know more about him and his works. And click here to view many images of his work. I am sure some may shock you and some make you laugh. Enjoy........

When he photographs celebrities, he like to exaggerate aspects of their personalities and their personal lives which you will see in all these images. 
Alicia Keyes
Michael Jackson
Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow    
Lady Gaga
David Bowie
Tupac Shakur

To some extent, LaChapelle is considered an outsider in the art world and in the world of commercial photography alike. As a visionary, he tends to add subversive ideas and unusual aspects to the marketed product with the use of bright colours and props, making his work easily recognisable.

Some other Images from his books and Exhibitions.
Now, David LaChapelle's work is more likely to be seen in galleries and books rather than magazines. He has left a huge impact on the world of controversial photography. You either love him or hate him.....there is no middle ground.

.......and finally the man himself working on set.

To see more  of David LaChapelle's work, go this website Artsy


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