An outsider in the art world, he is one of the most iconic and provocative visual artists of our time: David LaChapelle (United States, 1963). Known for his uncanny ability to capture the essence of contemporary culture through his unique lens, LaChapelle has gained international fame for his bold, surreal images that blend photography with conceptual art.
LaChapelle began his career in photography at a very young age, attracting attention for his unique and visionary talent. His education began at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he devoted himself to the study of the visual arts.
However, his educational path is not followed by a traditional academic education. The artist dropped out early to move to New York City, where he quickly gained recognition in the world of fashion photography.
From his first experience as a fashion photographer in New York to his move away from mass advertising to focus on contemporary art, this interview offers an opportunity to explore the creative mind of David LaChapelle who has collaborated with, among others, Madonna, Elton John, Uma Thurman, George Michael, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Naomi Campbell, Marilyn Manson, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Angelina Jolie, Moby, Elizabeth Taylor, Björk, Eminem, Rihanna, Hillary Clinton, David Beckham, Christina Aguilera and Robbie Williams.
In his artistic production, LaChapelle blends religious iconography, pop culture, classical works, nature, and the environment. Currently on display with the solo show “Happy Together” at VISU Contemporary Gallery in Miami, we will delve into his influences, the recurring themes in his works, his perspective on modern society, and much more.
Through this conversation, we will immerse ourselves in the artistic universe of David LaChapelle, discovering the meaning behind his bold images and videos, and his unique vision of the contemporary world.
You started your career in the 1980s when you also met Andy Warhol. What do you remember about this meeting, about that artistic scene?
I was young and Warhol was my favorite artist. I would see him in nightclubs all the time around New York City but I didn’t talk to him until a few years later when I had a portfolio of photographs from my arts high school.
I was at the Ritz nightclub at a Psychedelic Furs concert. I went up to Andy and asked if I could show him pictures. He invited me to come to his studio the next day. I showed him my work and was eventually hired to work for Interview magazine.
The scene was very lively. The east village felt what I read about Paris in the 1930s – an artistic explosion. Jeff Buckley was performing at Cafe Cine. There’s Keith Haring at the Fun Gallery. Wow, the Fun Gallery – what a great name – everything has gotten so serious since then.
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