David LaChapelle is a commercial photographer, fine art photographer, music video director and artist from Connecticut in the US, he is famed for his kitschy pop surrealist work which sometimes references history and sometimes conveys social messages. LaChapelle had an excellent start to his career when he met Andy Warhol when he was 17 and was offered his first job as a photographer at “Interview” Magazine, he reportedly told LaChapelle: “Do whatever you want, just make sure everyone looks good”. He was also friends with Keith Haring at this time also.
His work is quite raunchy in nature featuring alot of nudity in strange situations, but his work is also hyper realistic in colour and very bright which i like, i also like his elaborate set’s he uses for his photography, especially these below:
The themes in David LaChapelles work include salvation, paradise and consumerism which you can see in the images above, the consumerism because of the elaborate clothing and opulent imagery, like in this bottom one the solid gold boats. He also appears to have alot of oriental influence in his imagery which i really like and his photoshop skills are beyond parr with any other photographer i have seen. His fine art photography often displays high fashion models and celebrities, as ancient greek “muses” in modern styles. He is noted in saying that his work has been influenced by Jeff Koons, which i am also researching, its interesting to see how alot of the artist i like have influenced eachother. There is alot of Baroque influence in his work, which you can see in lots of the furnishings he uses, he also directed Elton Johns 2004 Las Vegas show, which i can imagine was utterly mind blowing and lavish.
My favorite series of LaChapelle work is either his work with singer Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry, i saved some images from his Katy Perry recent series for the GHD Straightener company for which Perry is the poster girl. I found an image of behind the scenes, and was astounded by the fact that its all real scenery! i had assumed the use of photoshop but his props are very impressive and the composition of each scene must be perfectly aligned.
The behind the scenes photo is above, and i can see he has a massive team creating each scene that must aid making these shots possible, he only uses one shot from each set usually, this shows how much of a perfectionist he is to create all of this for only one final photograph.
This is the finished image, i love how colourful his images are and the beautiful use of couture fashion really adds to the stylish contemporary feel of the photographs, rather than just surrealist photography its high fashion and bold.