David LaChapelle is well known for his career as a contemporary photographer, fine art enthusiast and also, for his involvement with video. After initially gaining his social reputation and position within the artistic community, LaChapelle’s work became noticed by huge artistic figures. Andy Warhol spotted his artistic creations and offered him his first job, at Interview magazine.
He initially focused his intention upon commercial photograph, featuring his images in the following publications- Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone and i-D. As well as this huge contribution towards largely circulated publications, LaChapelle photographed many famous names; including the likes of- Tupac Shakur, Pamela Anderson, David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio… you get the gist. He eventually moved away from this commercialised environment though, finding solace in fine art.
His photography throughout the years is appropriate for both advertorial and editorial/commercialised purposes. Lots of his photos withhold cartoon connotations and are content specific- attention is always focused upon the figure or the product that is being showcased within the image. Although his photos often promote commercial values, more often than not they look like paintings. This fine art impression on photography is perhaps what established David LaChapelle as a huge art inspiration.
Both his photography and his fine art work present colour dramatically and emphasize form. These two methods of abstraction enable his work to advance from commercialised and largely mass produced –dynamic and contemporary. It is apparent that his fine art background has largely influenced his photographic career and furthermore, that his art presents the same photographic 3 dimensional qualities that are infused through photography. His paintings largely focus on still life: flower paintings highlight colour and he often pushes an overcrowded feeling of constraint which intensifies the floral display.