I know, I know. Lachapelle, cliche of cliches. But wait, there's more.
I remember first day of Photography A Level being told about David Lachapelle, and everyone being vaguely impressed, and I then firmly put him out of my mind, determined to find my own inspirations and idols. It wasn't until recently that I delved back into his extremely prolific portfolio on his website, and I discovered that he was in fact a certifiable genius.
Yes, I was used to his highly coloured glossy celebrity pictures, but I soon found myself swimming in an ocean of religious iconography infused with pop culture, and I loved it. He has the wit to create a renaissance inspired image with a cutting modern humour. He has maintained a strong sexual undercurrent throughout everything, which I respond to. None of his figures look real, and none of them are pretending to be, which is brilliant.
David LaChapelle (born March 11, 1963 in Fairfield, Connecticut) is a photographer and director who works in the fields of fashion, advertising, and fine art photography, and is noted for his surreal, unique, sexualized, and often humorous style.
This black and white work is amongst the oldest in the Lachapelle archives on the website, and was said to be shot using film. I enjoy seeing the progression from these fairly simplistic shots to the gargantuan $1000000 sets he uses now, all whilst maintaining the strong themes from his roots.
Another thing I enjoyed seeing on the site (or indeed, seeing on any artist's site, or their books) was Lachapelle's little plans in drawings and collages. This was his plan for one of his more recent works based on renaissance art featuring Naomi Campbell, and I think that it is amongst my favourites, namely because I remember seeing the original painting as a child.