Last Look: David LaChapelle’s “make BELIEVE”

Diesel Jeans, Victory Day, 1945 (1994)
Nicholas Boston

The art photography of David LaChapelle (b. March 11, 1963), who rose to prominence in the 1990s photographing performers such as Britney Spears and Tupac Shakur for avant garde magazines and casting supermodels like Naomi Campbell in sweeping photographic tableaux, is a genre onto itself. Vivid in both color and imagination, LaChapelle’s portraits mock his sitters’ celebrity scandals, while his surreal sets and outlandish mise-en-scène, populated by scrumptious models of all genders, shapes and sizes, reinterpret passages from the Bible and restage classic paintings from the canon of Western art history.

LaChapelle is fond of appropriating Christian iconography to comment on some of his generation’s hardest fought battles, like AIDS. LaChapelle, who turns 60 in two months, mounted the first museum-wide solo exhibition of his career, “make BELIEVE,” in September, 2020, at Fotografiska New York.  Get a last look at this exhibition of an extraordinary artist’s oeuvre this weekend before it closes on Sunday, January 15.

Behold (2016). Nicholas Boston
Deluge (2006).Nicholas Boston
Exhibition visitor in feathered hat admiring installation.Nicholas Boston
Exhibition visitor in front of LaChapelle’s Tupac Shakur: To Begin Again 1 (1996).Nicholas Boston
Rape of Africa (2009).Nicholas Boston
The Crucifixion, Hawaii (2021).Nicholas Boston
Travis Scott (2020).Nicholas Boston

“make BELIEVE” | Fotografiska Museum  | 281 Park Ave. South