Exhibition at Robilant + Voena, London
Publication: Robilant + Voena
Publication date: October 2008
Editors: Paolo Bonacina, Marco Voena
Credits: Jablonka Galerie, Patrick Toolan, Fred Torres
Format: 8” x 8”0
Features: 32 pages, full color, paperback catalogue
Excerpt from the critical essay, “David LaChapelle Fusion” by Cesare Cunaccia:
What David LaChapelle stages in his photographic images is an extremist and bizarre comédie humaine. It’s impossible to remain detached before them. They attract, repel, scandalize. They take risks and totally invade the oneiric dimension. They reveal a meaning bordering on trash. They become an implacable distorting mirror of neuroses and hopes, of the deep crisis and merely deferred apocalypse of these penultimate times we are living through.
His images are characterized by glittering camp surfaces, seductively sugary fluorescent colours, surreal and translucent effects, and an opulent, grotesque and pop narrative form. They reveal iconic and transfigured faces, hedonism, the search for beauty and the howl of disintegration. LaChapelle maintains control over these images while yearning to abandon it. It all originates in an aesthetic that apparently belongs to the glamour of consumerism, is nurtured on the glossy pages of fashion magazines, and culminates in an allegorical representation that flings open the Pandora’s box of obsessions, desires and fears that are omnipresent and that gnaw at our age. Disturbing and at the same time hyper-realistic, precious and revolving round the symbolic element like certain enigmatic mannerist works of the sixteenth century, of the Ecole de Fontainebleau or the School of Prague, LaChapelle’s photos perfectly depict the contemporary world, its ambiguous and contrasting nature and the tensions that run through it.