The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, February 20, 2019

OstLicht Galerie für Fotografie opens exhibition of works by David LaChapelle
Peter Coeln (OstLicht), Gery Keszler (Life Ball) and Karl Javurek (Gewista) at the presentation of the Life Ball poster 2014 at Galerie OstLicht © Christine Miess, Galerie OstLicht.

VIENNA.- During the past three decades, David LaChapelle has created an extraordinary and unmistakeable oeuvre. He has worked with innumerable pop and film stars, and his powerful, provocative, humorous, glamorous, but also surreal and usually extremely colourful works have had a lasting influence on the world of photography and the aesthetics of the visual realm. The gallery OstLicht presents the exhibition David LaChapelle. Once in the Garden, featuring well-known icons of the last twenty years like Amanda Lepore: Addicted to Diamonds, Celebrity Gleam and Amanda as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor alongside three of his latest groups of works: Earth Laughs in Flowers, Gas and Land Scape.

Through his exploration of subjects like spirituality and religion, personality cult and physicalness, and by questioning social norms of gender and sexuality, David LaChapelle has managed to influence public awareness. He is not a photographer in the classical sense – rather, he is an image-maker, a storyteller. His visual world is inspired by widely divergent sources like pop culture, the baroque and renaissance world, art history, movies, pornography and even the Bible. David LaChapelle is a master of posing existential questions by utilising commonplace props of the consumer world to create hyper-real settings featuring gleaming and perfect bodies, and by creating an almost bizarre tension between alienation and attraction. Nature as the foundation of our being, confronting each of us in our nakedness, is present as a formative element in the artist’s recent work.

In the series Earth Laughs in Flowers (2008-2011) LaChapelle deals with the transience of life and beauty, borrowing from floral still lifes of the baroque era. In the realm of this Vanitas imagery, plants, fruits and objects testify to the vanity and finite nature of life. These traditional emblems, however, are combined by the artist with objects of daily life that are only noticed at second glance: burning cigarettes, old mobile phones, electronic appliances or plastic bottles serve as modern metaphors of transience in our fast-paced throw-away society.

In his most recent series, Gas and Land Scape, LaChapelle examines global oil production and its infrastructure, which is anything but sustainable. The photographs show gas stations and refineries in lighting settings that vary between kitschy and eerily surreal. However, these are not real buildings, but true-to-scale models made from recycled materials, e.g. egg cartons, computer motherboards, tea canisters, curlers, straws and other recyclable products manufactured from crude oil. In elaborate stagings, LaChapelle photographed these models in the rain forest in Maui (Gas Stations), in the desert and along the Californian coastline (Refineries). This is also an enigmatic commentary by which LaChapelle wants to inspire the viewer’s self-critical reflection about the relentless exploitation of our planet: “These buildings are artefacts of a fallen civilization,” he told the magazine AD in an interview. “If some future archaeologist were to uncover a gas station, like our archaeologists uncover Incan temples, that would be an indicator of what made this civilization rise and fall.”

Once in the Garden, finally, is David LaChapelle’s most recent work and is exhibited as part of the show. Not only did it inspire the title of the OstLicht exhibition, but it is also the title image of the 2014 Life Ball. The diptych makes LaChapelle’s grounding in art history particularly apparent. Motifs like the pink fountain of life and the reclining youth with a fantasy head are strongly reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (ca. 1500). In his own version of a surreal paradisiacal garden, LaChapelle stages the transgender model Carmen Carrera, giving a strong voice to an issue close to his heart: that love knows no gender boundaries.

Furthermore, Self Portrait as House, presumably LaChapelle’s most personal work, is shown for the first time in Europe at OstLicht.

David LaChapelle was born in Connecticut in 1968. He studied fine arts at the North Carolina School of the Arts. In the mid-1980s he moved to New York. Andy Warhol discovered LaChapelle shortly thereafter at New York’s legendary Studio 54. LaChapelle began taking photographs for Warhol’s magazine Interview, and was soon also commissioned by Rolling Stone, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair. His photographic works have been shown at many important museums and galleries around the world.

Today's News

June 2, 2014

American artist Susan Hiller opens exhibition at the Abattoirs Museum in Toulouse

From Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons: The eye of Ileana Sonnabend on view in Venice

Sotheby's Beijing Spring Sale and selling exhibition 2014 attracts new Chinese bidders and buyers

Flowing Transition: Old Masters to be presented at the Neue Pinakothek in Munich

Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche 'admits to' Brussels Jewish Museum shooting in video recording

"Cecil Beaton at Home: Ashcombe & Reddish" on view at the Salisbury Museum

OstLicht Galerie für Fotografie opens exhibition of works by David LaChapelle

Ethan Allen introduces rare and collectible lithographs with Modern Masters Collection

New book from Flammarion offers insight into Gustav Dore's life and prolific body of work

"Tea and Wine: A Shared Passion" exhibition at the Yishu 8 gallery opens in Beijing

First exhibition to explore the Jewish contribution to Modernism on view in San Francisco

Railwayana including the collection of Michael Max offered at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Group exhibition at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art explores dynamics of art and technology

Snarkitecture X Beats collaborate to turn studio headphone into exclusive, limited edition piece of art

Artists Thomas Grünfeld and Gary Hume collaborate in new exhibition at Massimo De Carlo

First solo exhibition in Berlin by the artist Mehtap Baydu opens at Berlinartprojects

Nick van Woert's first solo show in Italy opens at MAMbo - Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna

Frank Loveland collection offered collectors 'many brass rings' at Bertoia's $1.95M Spring auction

China seeks to wipe Tiananmen from popular memory

The Indecent Eye: Marco Sanges exhibits at Hay Hill Gallery

"Rozanne Hawksley: War and Memory" opens at the Royal Museums Greenwich

A lifetime's collection of over 1,000 lots go under the hammer in Bonhams Michael Banfield Sale

"Palaces of The Seas: The Golden Age of French Ocean Liners" exhibition opens in Hong Kong

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Underground in Jerusalem, a rare look at an ancient tomb

2.- Research reveals new species are evolving fastest in Antarctica

3.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years

4.- Travel ban for 'fragile' Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'

5.- Holocaust museum stokes controversy among Hungary's Jews

6.- Rare Hassam, Jefferson letter and Sèvres porcelain offered at Potomack Auction

7.- 'Discriminating Thieves: Nazi-Looted Art and Restitution' opens at Nelson-Atkins

8.- Andy Goldsworthy to create Walking Wall on Nelson-Atkins campus

9.- US university to cover Christopher Columbus murals

10.- Leonardo da Vinci's drawings go under the microscope in a new publication

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful