There's no glamour, it's all about sex! Well, at the very least, sex plays a big part in fashion and portrait photographer David LaChapelle extensive commercial work. Some 50 years after the legendary George Hurrell defined the setting for glamour and style, LaChapelle turns it all upside to produce some of the most provocative, ridiculous and beautiful portraits in the industry.
When describing David LaChapelle's work, one can't help but draw some comparison to pop art pioneer Andy Warhol, and indeed that comparison wouldn't be undeserving just as LaChapelle got his first big break in the industry when Warhol spotted his potential and offered him a job with Interview magazine in the 1980s.
From Interview, LaChapelle got the opportunity to photograph many celebrities and stars, developing his colorful style in the process. Soon, he would be commissioned to do portraits and editorials for other magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ. His style also lent itself to advertising work very well.
LaChapelle's photography finds itself straddling between the glorious and utterly preposterous while still being intensely beautiful (to many people anyway). The photographer finds inspiration in both the surreal and familiar, twisting the latter until it becomes entirely new. Sex, of course, is heavily featured in many of his works, although it becomes more paradoxical; the scenes and colors are so greatly exaggerated that anything sexual in the image becomes quite humorous and refreshing.
In one of his more recognized works, "Jesus is my Homeboy", LaChapelle takes scenes from famous religious icons and recreates them in a contemporary manner. This holy and sacred motif is carried over into many of his portraiture work as well.
Aside from photography, LaChapelle has also dabbled in video and stage direction. He has directed more than a dozen music videos for such names as Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and Amy Winehouse, and he's also directed more commercials than you could guess.
He's also directed the film Rize, a documentary on the street dance form known as krumping.
David LaChapelle's website, which is filled with a whole lot more bizarrely wonderful and sensually glamorous photography, is here. Be sure to check out at least one of his books, David LaChapelle: Heaven To Hell, Hotel Lachapelle and LaChapelle: Artists and Prostitutes.