Friday, July 16, 2010

David LaChapelle's American Jesus, or the Redemption of Michael Jackson

Photographer David LaChapelle has been showcasing the famous, infamous and often outrageous side of pop culture (and counterculture) for nearly two decades. After shooting some of the most recognizable faces of our generation (think Britney Spears, Tupac Shakur, Amanda Lepore, and Hillary Clinton) for Interview Magazine and other notable publications, he took a slight departure to work on music video direction, stage work, and other creative ventures.

Well, LaChapelle is bringing his work back into the gallery. His current solo exhibition, ‘American Jesus,’ opened last week at New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery and features LaChapelle’s old friend Michael Jackson, shot just before his passing in a biblically inspired series of images that are colorful and poppy, yet offer a deep and thoughtful narrative. The show reads like a public defense of Jackson who’s portrayed as an angelic martyr, as well as a not-so-subtle jab at the Catholic Church. Making an appearance in the exhibit as well is Naomi Campbell, depicted as Botticelli’s Venus.

I know it's not likely possible, but in the future, I want the world to appear like a giant LaChapelle photograph--colorful and whimsical and just.

[This post appeared in its original form on Curated.]

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