PROFILE: Photographer David La Chapelle
David La Chapelle is known internationally as a photographer, a director of documentaries, and a video artist whose colorful, smooth and extroverted style is filled with sensuality, fantasy, and dark adventure, packed with accessible popular images, and communicates with a wide and variegated audience.
Born in 1963 to a mother who also shared a passion for photography La Chapelle took His first photograph of his single mother, Helga La Chapelle, on a family vacation in Puerto Rico. She wore a bikini and held a martini glass on a balcony. From then on he was obsessed with photography. La Chapelle attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he met Andy Warhol and began his photography career. Initially distinguished by his fixation with white-trash culture, la Chapelle is also known for his groundbreaking use of computer manipulation and futuristic fashion shoots. La Chapelle has since gone on to publish four books of his photographs, including “La Chapelle Land” and “Hotel La Chapelle,” both containing vivid and bizarre portraits of celebrities and models.
David does not have a brand in particular that he communicates but he does have a continuous narrative that permeates throughout his photographic work. Regardless of his photographs’ purpose, he doesn’t follow any guideline and he pursues his own signature, even when he makes photographs for brands’ advertisement. Chapell takes an idiosyncratic approach to his work with majority of his content exploring outrageous and unimaginable scene of sexuality, surrealism and humor. This combined with his strong philosophy photography is what has ensured La Chapelle’s continuing success.
“I want to offer escapes – the world is grey enough. My pictures are little vacations for the mind. They are about getting as far away from reality as possible. Dreams should be part of your everyday life.”
David work is not only inspirational to me due to the fact the he builds his own realities to base his photography within but also because he is not driven by fame or fortune but simply by an unquashable enthusiasm and a sheer talent and passion for his photographic vision.
“I never wanted to be famous. I always wanted to take famous photographs.”
Although I have been inspired by a number of other fashion photographers I found that David LaChapelle’s works has two exclusive features. Firstly his lurid and vivid color in pictures, in which he has an uncanny ability to make pictures bright regardless of its topic. And secondly his works creativity and uniqueness. David la chapell’s work appeals to all level of my project including holding a similar design aesthetic and philosophy as well as following a strong passion for functionality.