David LaChapelle – Cars & Money Exhibition

Recently opened at Wolfgang Roth and Partners Fine Art in Miami is “Cars and Money: new works by David LaChapelle”. A showing of two significant new collections from one of the world’s most recognisable fashion and fine art photographers in which he examines the concepts of money, status and luxury he has been so instrumental in building.

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Can’t say it’s definitely a must see – the so-called ‘meaning’ behind each piece seems a little contrived and obvious. The image above of the banknote is meant to depict the negative impact of money on our society… so what has LaChapelle done? Taken an image of money and, wait for it… overlaid a NEGATIVE image of a banknote over the top. Inspired, I think you’ll agree. The car images are supposed to make the viewer re-think their concept of luxury within the 21st Century, but I fail to see how collaged images of car parts is supposed to do that.

Lest we forget that LaChapelle has worked for some of the world’s biggest designer brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, L’Oreal and Diesel, as well as editorial photoshoots for the likes of GQ, Vogue and Vanity Fair. As a clear exponent of consumer-led designer lifestyles, who is he to dictate to us the apparent evils of high-end capitalism and consumerism? It’s fairly obvious that he has himself reaped the monetary benefits of such lifestyles, so is it not very hypocritical to then preach through the medium of ‘fine art’ that it’s all bad, even in the name of satire?

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Even LaChapelle’s books are outrageously expensive – his 2006 volume ‘Artists & Prostitutes’ is still retailing on Amazon for over $3,000.

Looking at works such as this and that of other en-vogue artists such as Hirst begs the question – why does art these days have to come with some sub-text/comment about the world in which we live? Do classic paintings such as the Mona Lisa or Waterlilies come with some footnote about how they represent the systematic cultural raping of the working class or the slow appropriation of foreign cultural values by large corporations in a cynical attempt to make money, or are they, as I suspect, classic works made by talented people in an attempt to simply capture beauty?

The exhibition is open now at the Wolfgang Roth and Partners Fine Art gallery until February 13th 2010 – images and opening paragraph courtesy of SLAMXHYPE.

James

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2 Responses to “David LaChapelle – Cars & Money Exhibition”

  1. David LaChapelle x Maybach Zeppelin « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] a kind of follow-up to the post I made yesterday, I’ve just read about a collaborative work that Mr. LaChapelle has entered […]

  2. David LaChapelle x Maybach Zeppelin – Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] a kind of follow-up to the post I made yesterday, I’ve just read about a collaborative work that Mr. LaChapelle has entered […]

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