David LaChapelle was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1963. He is best known for his pop surrealistic photography, elevating much of it to a both artistic and social commentary. They eventually moved to North Carolina, where he was relentlessly bullied. After his family moved back to Connecticut, he became heavily involved in the public school arts program. He then returned to North Caro;ina and enrolled in the North Carolina School of Arts.
David LaChapelle and Andy Warhol
He started exhibiting worked at the 303 Gallery in NYC, and his work was exposed to editors at Interview magazine who offered him work. David LaChapelle met Andy Warhol when 17 while doing photography there. Warhol had enough confidence in him to tell him to do whatever he wanted as long as “everybody looks good”. That was really the start of the David LaChapelle we know.
Covers, Covers and More Covers
He soon was doing covers for GQ, i-D, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Face, Vanity Fair and Details, among others.
Digital Before Digital
David LaChapelle books were being released one after another. “LaChapelle Land”,, “Hotel LaChapelle” , “Heaven to Hell” and “Artists and Prostitutes”. Most of his work is known to just be “full of juicy life”. I guess that’s a good description.
The New “Fine Art” LaChapelle
By the mid 90’s he was at the top of his game for both commercial and celebrity work. But as quickly as he became a star, he seemed to disappear. But, he has just moved to Hawaii, and is concentrating on ‘fine art” photography,….quite successfully, I might add. Back to his roots, so to speak. A natural transition for someone touting his influences as Salvador Dalí, Jeff Koons, Michelangelo and Andy Warhol. Even his commercial work in past years has always veered more towards these art influences rather than other photographers.
He has remarked his new fine art direction has actually made him feel “reborn”. We are looking forward to some great new photography and exhibits as the result of this rebirth.