December 26, 2012

David LaChapelle Exhibit at Fotografiska

Christmas is over and it is time to look forward to New Years and fun things to do in 2013!
Courtney Love with religious symbolism!
 On Christmas Day, a friend and I went to Fotografiska (the photography museum) to see their new much-talked-about exhibition featuring the work of David LaChapelle. I am a big LaChapelle fan and have really been waiting for this exhibition. I actually sent an e-mail to the museum a couple of years ago, begging them to have an exhibit of his work. So you can imagine my happiness that this exhibition is the largest David LaChapelle exhibit ever held... in fact, it occupies the entire museum!
Transgendered artist Amanda Lepore as Warhol's Monroe and Taylor
 The exhibition does not disappoint. Called "Burning Beauty", it consists of over 250 pieces of art including music video and film. The exhibit also contains work from different periods, spanning his 30+ year career.
Etheral new work by LaChapelle
 What I really enjoy about LaChapelle's work is his sense of humour. Whether it is in the composition of the photograph or in the title, his humour can be both subtle and in your face. His work also frequently has social commentary... from our crass consumerism to our obsession with celebrities & beauty to our destruction of the enviroment. For example, Courtney Love holding a Kurt Cobain look alike... posed to resemble Michelangelo's Pietá (the Virgin Mary holding a dead Jesus). So when you are admiring the beauty of his work, take some extra time to figure out what he is trying to say. I also love the fact that his pictures all look like they have been manipulated in a computer, but they haven't... just painstakingly composed. There is a video presentation as part of the exhibit where you can see behind the scenes of the photo shoot for LaChapelle's "Deluge".
"The Rape of Africa"
It is a large exhibition and, if you need to take a break, the museum has a great café/bistro on the top floor with spectacular views of the harbour. Be aware that besides beauty, celebrities, social commentary and humour... LaChapelle's work also sometimes contains nudity and sexual content. Fotografiska is located on the northern waterfront of Södermalm, just a 15-20 minute walk from the Rival Hotel. Thank you for this exhibition Fotografiska... now, if you can have an exhibit of Helmut Newton's work on this scale, I will be very happy!

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