Thursday, September 2, 2010

WTF Art

David LaChapelle


David LaChapelle, American Jesus, The Beatification I'll never let you part for you're always in my heart
David LaChapelle, American Jesus: The Beatification: I'll never let you part for you're always in my heart

David LaChapelle, American Jesus Hold me, carry me boldly
David LaChapelle, American Jesus: Hold me, carry me boldy

David LaChapelle, Thy Kingdom Come
David LaChapelle, Thy Kingdom Come


David LaChapelle, American Jesus Archangel Michael And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer

David LaChapelle, American Jesus: Archangel Michael: And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer




American Jesus, David LaChapelle's solo exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, and his most recent solo show in New York since 2008, will be on view from July 13 through September 18, 2010.

LaChapelle draws on an immense lexicon of art historical references, current events, and popular culture, to make visually compelling images each unique in their narrative and evocative content.

Shown for the first time in New York is part of a series which began over a decade ago including three large-scale photographs depicting Michael Jackson as a modern day martyr. Of all of the subjects LaChapelle has portrayed, Jackson unquestionably lived one of the most epic and dramatic lives of our time. Such sentiment is shown with biblical connotations and is hauntingly represented in these images.

In addition, LaChapelle presents Thy Kingdom Come, a look at the results of greed and corruption amongst religious establishment.

Also making its New York debut is The Rape Of Africa, a monumental artwork inspired by Sandro Botticelli's Venus & Mars of 1484. The well-known allegorical work depicts the poised and beautiful Venus, goddess of love, having tamed and diffused Mars, the vengeful god of war, who soundly sleeps, while small cherub figures play with Mars' instruments of warfare. Here LaChapelle subverts the meaning of the original work by proposing a black Venus, striking in her beauty, yet completely powerless to both her treatment as property, and to the destruction of her land through mining and war depicted in the background. The Mars in this image is not sleeping as much as satiated by his own victories, sitting on top of his plunder gained by conquests. LaChapelle's contemporary allegory is densely layered with poignant and symbolic imagery, as seen in the jarring combination of young children with deadly weapons, or the gilded human bone resting under the finger of Mars. Alongside the photograph will be studies for the work, illuminating LaChapelle's studies in the traditional medium of drawing and watercolor.

LaChapelle's photographs typically begin with a series of compositional graphite drawings, collages, watercolors, and mixed media sketches—a little known facet of his artistic process. This exhibition will allow viewers the opportunity to examine LaChapelle's artistic process, from conception to the completed works.

David LaChapelle's work has been exhibited internationally at museums and institutions including the Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara; the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City; his first show in Asia at the MOCA, Taipei; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); The National Portrait Gallery, London; The Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin; The Brandhorst Museum, Munich; and the Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna. His artwork is included in multiple international private and public collections.


All images and text found here.


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25 comments:

Hanako66 said...

these make me laugh:)

Fragrant Liar said...

Wow. Thy Kingdom Come is really interesting.

the eternal list said...

is that, like, elizabeth taylor in the first pic?

blueviolet said...

I am speechless.

Heff said...

Are these FOR REAL ? 'cause they're freakin' HILARIOUS !!

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Eh. Still, this is why he's rich and I'm rolling pennies ;)

diane said...

Really interesting stuff. I love the mix of old and new, making it very current and oddly interesting. Great find!

Caroline said...

Thy Kingdom come is pretty intense and incredible...

thelayeredpancake said...

definitely wtf art

sealaura said...

your title says it all WTF!!!!

bananas. said...

i can actually appreciate the "thy kingdom come" one and its meaning...you know being a "catholic" and all ;)

but the MJ stuff is fucking weird man! rip.

Vivienne said...

I'm going to have bad dreams tonight...

TERI REES WANG said...

Did you not get the memo...?

"Micheal is our new Messiah".

Sam said...

When I was in London a few years ago I went to a HUGE La Chapelle exhibition and quite frankly I wanted to pass out after it! Whereas before I'd seen the odd snap and thought interesting and quirky, to see room after room of his stuff reproduced on enormous boards is just awful! It's so in your face and grotesque/ gross/ colourful en masse! Still, he's certainly found his niche and more power to him I suppose!

Missy said...

Wow! Just WoW!

Poppy♥ said...

wow!! the pope on the throne an the one where MJ is stepping on the devil is soooo scary!!! *cringe*
great job finding them tho. lol

rach said...

Wow these are some....interesting....pictures. But I enjoy the bright colors. Oh and thy Kingdom come?? Just the accessory I need for life here in Ireland. I should totally get that and stand outside the church with it. (wuhaha)

Char said...

truly weird

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I am so in love with his work and alas all I can do is invest in his books-

I think he is a genius.

The Rape Of Africa is my current favorite but- Thy Kingdom Come- is
a bunch amazing.

Great detailed review!

creative kerfuffle said...

i can appreciate the creativity and technique and talent and skill. but i really and truly am so over michael jackson i could just puke.
and, while i can appreciate art that makes you think or that disturbs you, when i'm looking at something i'd want to hang in my house this would not be it.

Georgina Dollface said...

Just as I opened this post, Lady Gaga's Bad Romance started playing very loudly on my iPod. And in some strange and surreal it seemed like the most appropos and over the top soundtrack for those paintings. - G

SabinePsynopsis said...

They are so politically incorrect and OTT - David LaChapelle is a brave genius.

Susan Erickson said...

I would have nightmares with those around....sorry, I know they are clever....just hideous though....

tulpen said...

I'm thinking genius too. Evil genius perhaps, but still genius.

Adiya said...

I'm not sure what i feel about this art. If i decide i'll come right back. The art itself is lovely, but the concept...uhm, don't know