David LaChapelle is an American photographer and filmmaker who has worked in fashion, advertising and fine art. His first photo was of his mother on a family holiday in Puerto Rico when he was a kid. Since then his photographic style has been described as “hyper-real” and “slyly subversive” in regards to conveying social messages in a kitsch surrealist style – a style Critics have noted that LaChapelle’s work has been influenced a diverse number of artists, including Salvador Dalí, Jeff Koons, Michelangelo, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol.
At seventeen, David LaChapelle landed a photography job at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. His photographs of celebrities for Interview garnered positive attention and before long he was shooting for variety of top editorial publications. Since Interview, LaChapelle’s images have graced the covers of Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Rolling Stones Magazine and his subjects have included Madonna, Pamela Anderson, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Hilary Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga. As well as photography, LaChapelle has also produced music videos, documentary films and live events for a number of high profile artists including Jennifer Lopez, The Vines, No Doubt and Elton John.
With his photography securing him commercial success, LaChapelle decided in 2006 to return to his roots and focus on high art photography. Themes in his photos and limited edition prints included salvation, redemption, paradise, consumerism and excess. These prints have been snapped up by collectors all over the world. LaChapelle is one of the few photographers to have made the transition from celebrity photography to contemporary art.
He has also published several books including: Hotel LaChapelle, David LaChapelle, La Chapelle Heaven to Hell, Hotel Lachappelle, Su Lachapelle Artists Proof.