stockholm: burning beauty

© david lachapelle - uma thurman: gossip [1997] - courtesy of fred torres collaborations, new york

often labeled as brash, commercial and not shy of innuendo, david lachapelle's work can't exactly be categorized as dull. when taking a closer look, one discovers that the artist in fact combines a unique and exaggerated kind of realism with a deep social message. opening today at fotografiska in stockholm is burning beauty, a solo exhibition which not only occupies the entire museum, but also is lachapelle's biggest ever. although best known for his glamorous and absurd images from the world of fashion, celebrities and models, this exhibition presents all the aspects of a career that spans 30 years. on display are early black + white photographs, as well as the artist's more recent culture-critical motifs and art historical paraphrases. the ability of the photograph to transcend the limitations of the real world and the everyday is an overall theme that interconnects lachapelle’s work. with his imagery, he combines consumer culture’s glossy and naked aesthetics with a gaze characterised by a persistent social critique and a sincere aspiration for spirituality, beauty and the divine. the burning beauty exhibition celebrates lachapelle's work with a presentation of over 250 of his works, music videos and films [on through mar 3]. location: stadsgårdshamnen 22 [södermalm].

© david lachapelle - death by hamburger [2002] - courtesy of fred torres collaborations, new york