One of the most compelling features of David LaChapelle, as an artist and as a person, is the ability to navigate from the Hollywood celebrity scene to the New York contemporary art circuit with ease. I have been following David’s career for many years and he never fails to impress me. There is something about his pieces, perhaps the surreal quality of his photographs, that draw me in and prompt my desire to see and know more. As both a person and an artist, David isn't afraid to explore deep topics while at the same time reflect them in beautifully accomplished photographs drenched in balmy hues and vigorous compositions.
I caught up with David in the midst of the installation of his most recent solo show at Paul Kasmin Gallery. The exhibit, LAND SCAPE , is comprised of two series of new photographs: Refineries and Gas Stations. The centerpiece of David’s new body of work is based on the fact that oil production has forever changed the course of history and of human development. Almost everything that we use nowadays to function and to carry out our lives is in one way or the other dependent on petroleum.
All these pieces were accomplished in a process that lasted three years where David and his team built models with recyclable pieces like corrugated cardboard, cans, hair rollers, straws and formula bottles among many other found objects. Some were photographed in the studio and others were shot on sites, specifically in the rain forest in Maui, where David resides, and in Los Angeles.
Below is a video of our interview, filmed by Black Dot Creative.
LAND SCAPE opens on January 17 at Paul Kasmin Gallery at 293 Tenth Avenue and will run until March 1, 2014