The Kunst Haus Wien is proud to announce another highlight of international photography in 2002 in Austria: for the first time the work of David LaChapelle. David LaChapelle was born in Connecticut in 1968. He originally studied fine arts at North Carolina School of the Arts before moving to New York in the mid 1980s. There he met Andy Warhol and encountered Pop Art first-hand. He decided to become a photographer, eventually landings his first professional job at Warhol´s Interview Magazine.
Throughout the 1980s LaChapelle became well-known as a photographer in the New York art world. In the early 1990s he began to take photographs of celebrities and fashion for magazines such as Details and London´s The Face. He developed a signature style, characterized by super-saturated colors and the shocking poses and contexts in which he got celebrities and models to appear. He has been photographing famous subjects and fashion for magazines ever since. His images are now seen regularly in such publications as Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times, i-D, Flaunt, Arena, Interview, and Vanity Fair, among others. He is currently under contract with Vanity Fair. Selections of his work have been brought together in two books, LaChapelle Land (1996) and Hotel LaChapelle (1999), and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally.
LaChapelle has done advertising campaigns for a variety of clients including Pepsi, Camel, Levi´s, Diesel Jeans, and recently the Got Milk? campaign. He has completed commercial projects and print advertisements for Armani Jeans and MTV, as well as commercials for Sprite, Comedy Central, and Citibank. He shot the entire print campaign for the MTV 2000 Video Awards, and has photographed numerous album covers and packages for such artists as Whitney Houston, No Doubt, Perry Farrell, Lil´ Kim, Elton John, and Madonna.
In addition to his still photography LaChapelle directs music videos for select artists. His haunting video for Moby´s Natural Blues featuring Moby as himself as an old man and Christina Ricci as an angel, had a huge presence in the music video industry in 2000. At the MTV Europe Music Awards, Natural Blues was named Best Video of the year, the result of a popular vote of over 7 million viewers. It was also nominated in the U.S., in the MTV Video Awards´ Best Male Artist category, and for best Visionary Video at the VH-1/Vogue Fashion Awards. LaChapelle´s follow-up to Natural Blues, the video for Elton John´s This Train Don´t Stop There Anymore with ´NSYNC´s Justin Timberlake as Elton in his Seventies heyday, premiered on MTV in mid-January.
"David LaChapelle is the Fellini of photography." -- New York Magazine
"Mr. LaChapelle is certain to influence the work of a new generation of photographers in the same way that Mr. Avedon pioneered so much of what is familiar today." -- Amy Spindler, The New York Times
"His imagination has no brakes on it." -- James Truman, editorial director of Condé Nast
"David LaChapelle is as creatively fertile as 30s rule-breaker Salvador Dalì... He delights in taking sex and voyeurism and giving them an outrageous, unmistakably contemporary twist." -- Ingrid Sischy, Interview