David Lachapelle
  • Selection
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • Links


Early Fall

At the beginning of his career, David LaChapelle conquered Hollywood. His photographs of celebrities from the 80’s and 90’s were loaded with religious allusions and references to art history. Since the turn of the century, however, LaChapelle has dedicated himself to more traditional pictorial styles that don’t feature famous people. These innovative, elaborate, and detailed compositions are legendary!

With “Early Fall”, the renowned artist has created a contemporary still life: Mobile phones and other modern accessories bring the baroque flower arrangement into the present. We need to take a second look to fully appreciate the composition. Upon closer inspection, we notice the cigarette floating in the wine glass. It cannot be a coincidence that this remnant of some celebration creates an inverted cross where it intersects with a vertical gleam of light. Here again, we see the symbolism that characterises LaChapelle’s work. The beauty of the bouquet has long since faded, the wine has been drunk, and the fruit has spoiled. “Early Fall” brings together the artist’s most common themes – desire, vanity, and transience – in a passionate and haunting composition.


“You shouldn’t have to read an essay to understand my work; I believe in a visual language that should be as strong as the written word. I want my pictures to touch and move people the way music does.” David LaChapelle’s unconventional artistic approach has been extremely successful since the 1980’s.

In the heyday of Studio 54, LaChappelle met Andy Warhol in the famous nightclub. The master of pop art recognised LaChapelle’s talent immediately and gave the young artist his first contract. LaChapelle began to work as a photographer for Warhol’s magazine, Interview. Work at Rolling Stone, GQ, and Vanity Fair followed, and from 1984 onwards, with the world’s leading museums and art galleries.

“His images have long been considered milestones in the history of photography.” stern


LaChapelle’s distinctive visual language defies classification in a traditional genre. To describe him as a lifestyle photographer seems too limiting, too restrictive. As the photographer himself explained in an interview, “I have never been interested in representing reality.”

Instead, he arranges his glamorous, exaggerated scenes with references to religion, art history, and popular culture – generating his own, unmistakeable style in the process. A “LaChapelle” is immediately identifiable.

Hannah Hör
1963Born in Hartford, USA
Studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, USA
Worked as a photographer for Interview, a magazine published by Andy Warhol
2005Named one of the 25 most influential living photographers in Photo District News magazine
Lives and works in New York

Awards (Selection)

2012Artist of the Year, American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
1998Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography
1997Art Directors Club Award
1996Applied Photography of the Year Award, International Center of Photography
1996Photographer of the Year Award, VH-1 Fashion Awards

Collections (Selection)

National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart, Deutschland
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
Brandhorst Foundation, Munich, Germany

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2014David LaChapelle – Land Scape, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York City, USA
2012David LaChapelle, Lucca Center of Contemporary Art, Lucca, Italy
Jesus is my Homeboy, Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Germany
Burning Beauty, Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
2011David LaChapelle: Lost and Found, National Gallery of Bratislava, Slovakia
David LaChapelle – Cathedral, Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin, Germany
Earth Laugh in Flowers, Kestnergesellschaft Hanover, Germany
Thus Spoke LaChapelle, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic
2010David LaChapelle: Postmodern Pop Photography, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
2008Auguries of Innocence, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City, USA
2007David LaChapelle, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
2002David LaChapelle – Photography, KunstHaus Wien, Vienna, Austria
David LaChapelle, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2014The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK
2013In God We Trust, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
Flowers and Mushrooms, Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg, Salzburg, Austria
The Naked Man, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary
2012Making History, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
Figure and Form in Contemporary Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
2011Vanity, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
2010ATOPIA – Art and the City in the 21st Century, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
Who Shot Rock & Roll, Brooklyn Museum, New York City, USA
2008Traumfrauen, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany
2007Pop Art 1960s to 2000s, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan
2006Men, War & Peace, Museum für Fotografie – Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin, Germany

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

David LaChapelle: Earth Laughs in Flowers. Kristin Schrader , Kestnergesellschaft (pub.), Berlin, 2011.
Heaven to Hell. David LaChapelle, Cologne, 2010.
Stern Portfolio spezial 51: David LaChapelle. Thomas Osterkorn, Kempen, 2008.
LaChapelle Land. David LaChapelle, London, 2006.
Hotel Lachapelle. David LaChapelle, New York City, 1999.

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