Creation from Destruction : Frieze Masters 2020London
ExhibitionsRome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, David LaChapelle. After the Deluge, 30 April - 13 September 2015.
David LaChapelle is a photographer known for his artwork which combines a hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages. LaChapelle’s photography career began in the 1980’s when he began showing his artwork in New York galleries. Andy Warhol offered him his first job as a photographer at Interview Magazine where his photographs of celebrities in Interview received positive attention. LaChapelle’s images have been on the covers and pages of Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone and i¬D, and he has photographed some of the most recognizable faces on the planet, including Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Andy Warhol, Philip Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Pamela Anderson, Lil’ Kim, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Jeff Koons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Britney Spears, Amanda Lepore, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Angelina Jolie, to name a few.
In 2006, LaChapelle decided to minimize his participation in commercial photography and return to his roots by focusing on fine art photography, ‘Statue’ was created during this transition, which comes from his photo series ‘After The Deluge: Museum’. The photograph depicts a museum in ruination; a work of classical sculpture is submerged in a flood at the centre of a room, absent of any human presence. The sculpture in the photograph is a representation of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Cupid is naked, whilst Psyche is modestly draped and she is crowned by Cupid with a garland of flowers to symbolize the innocence of young love.
Psyche's quest to win back Cupid's love when it is lost to her first appears in The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius in the 2nd century AD. Psyche is a princess so beautiful that the goddess Venus becomes jealous. In revenge, she instructs her son Cupid to make her fall in love with a hideous monster; but instead he falls in love with her himself. He becomes her unseen husband, visiting her only at night. Psyche disobeys his orders not to attempt to look at him, and in doing so she loses him. In her search for him she undertakes a series of cruel and difficult tasks set by Venus in the hope of winning him back. Cupid can eventually no longer bear to witness her suffering or to be apart from her and pleads their cause to the gods. Psyche becomes an immortal and the lovers are married in heaven.
David LaChapelle’s photographs are included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others.
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