Patricia Low Contemporary, Geneva is pleased to present Earth Laughs In Flowers, a solo exhibition of photographs by David LaChapelle.
David LaChapelle’s images are of the most iconic of our times: situated equally in the worlds of fashion, advertising, and art, his work since the 1980s has been at the forefront of shaping contemporary cultural identity. Instantly recognizable through their outrageously opulent compositions, intensely saturated colour schemes, and jarringly hyper-real aesthetics, LaChapelle’s photographs are synonymous with consumer fetishism and celebrity adulation – a position which he actively exploits to powerfully challenge issues of inequality, hypocrisy, and social injustice.
Earth Laughs In Flowers showcases a body of recent works inspired by art historical masterpieces. Choreographed to near-virtual perfection, LaChapelle’s floral studies are contemporary reconsiderations of 16th century still life paintings: a genre which both exalted early modern consumer indulgence and forewarned of its moral corruption. In LaChapelle’s photographic equivalents, elaborate arrangements of bouquets and luxury foods are equally tantalizing and repellent, taking extreme beauty and decadence to levels of sublime grotesquerie. Translating traditional religious symbolism to modern day lingo, his memento mori are construed as subversively politicized gift basket kitsch: wishes and condolences suffocated in plastic, adorned with pill boxes, dissected sex dolls, and emblems of tragedy.