David LaChapelle, the great American artist and photographer, comes back, after more than fifteen years, to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni with one of the most important and exhaustive retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work.
David LaChapelle is known internationally for his exceptional talent in combining a hyper realistic aesthetic with a profound social message. His career began in the 80’s when he began showing his artwork in New York city art galleries.
Rome has been a milestone in his artistic life. In 2006, during a journey to Italy, the artist was granted the opportunity to have a private visit of the Sistine Chapel; his artistic sensibility was so wowed by the beauty and power of Roman art that those elements gave him the ultimate drive to change his artistic production.
Until then, LaChapelle preferred that his photos be published in fashion magazines and books, without critical texts. His goal, was never restricted to the picture, but to reach as broad audience as possible, as a pop artist, and lead the lecture of his work on an emotional shock level.
He pushed his aesthetics to the limit, but in 2006 walked out on the fashion scene.
He turned away from worldliness in order to live in a wild island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean “I said what I wanted to say”.
The exhibition focuses on the works realized by the artist starting from 2006, when he produced the monumental series titled “The Deluge”, which led to a meaningful turning point in his artistic path. Through the realization of “The Deluge”, modelled on Michelangelo’s impressive fresco in the Sistine Chapel, the artist returned to conceiving works with the unique purpose to exhibit in art galleries and in museums, and is less focused on commissioned work that is destined for the pages of fashion magazines and ad campaigns.
After “The Deluge”, the American photographer began to produce artwork with new aesthetical and conceptual concerns. The most evident sign of the change is the vanishing of the human presence. The living models, that in all the previous works (the only exception is “The Electric Chair”, 2001, personal interpretation of Andy Warhol’s famous artwork) have had a central part in the composition and in the messages embodied by the images, disappear. “Car Crash”, “Negative Currencies”, “Earth Laughs in Flowers”, “Gas Stations”, “Land Scapes”, up to the most recent “Aristocracy” series, follow this new aesthetic choice: LaChapelle resoundingly deletes the flesh, which was previously an identifiable element of his art.
To allow the public to understand the “origins” of LaChapelle work before “The Deluge”, the exhibition will also include a selection of some of the most renowned and loved photos that made him famous, between 1995 and 2005. A body of work that will gather all portraits of celebrities from music to fashion and movies. Scenes based on religious themes with surrealistic touches, references to masterpieces of art history and cinema, an artistic production defined by the chromatic saturation and movement, with which the American photographer reached his particular aesthetical style and influenced many artists of the following generations.
In the exhibition there is a projection space dedicated to behind-the-scenes videos, which, capture the composite process and the constructions of his photo sets, revealing the artist’s role is as director and scenic designer.
Andy Warhol’s influence on David is evident throughout the exhibition. ‘The Crash’ recalls Warhols ‘Death and Disaster’.
He embraced a post-pop style, in some surrealist sensibilities, which makes him unique in the world. His artworks are exhibited in the most important public and private international collections and in many museums, among those: Musée D’Orsay, Paris; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles; The National Portrait Gallery, London; Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm e The National Portrait Gallery a Washington DC.
Don’t miss it.
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