David LaChapelle is an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, film director, and artist. He is known internationally for his exceptional talent in combining a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages.
David LaChapelle was born in Connecticut in 1969, studied fine art at North Carolina School of the Arts before moving to New York, where he enrolled in the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts.
LaChapelle’s photography career began in the 1980’s when he began showing his artwork in New York City galleries. His work caught the eye of Andy Warhol, who offered him his first job as a photographer at Interview Magazine. His photographs of celebrities in Interview garnered positive attention, and before long he was shooting for a variety of top editorial publications and creating some of the most memorable advertising campaigns of his generation.
LaChapelle’s striking images have graced the covers and pages of Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone and i-D, and he has photographed personalities as diverse as Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Amanda Lepore, Eminem, Philip Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Pamela Anderson, Lil’ Kim, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Paris Hilton, Jeff Koons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, and Britney Spears, to name a few.
Having built up an impressive catalogue of his signature vivid and colourful photography, LaChapelle expanded his work to include music videos, live theatrical events and documentary films.
His stage work includes Elton John’s Las Vegas spectacular ‘The Red Piano’, which ended its five-year run in Las Vegas in 2009.
David has directed many music videos including Christina Aguilera’s Dirty, Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry On Their Own and Britney Spears Everytime.
LaChapelle’s work has also featured in a number of exhibitions worldwide at institutions such as the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Palazzo Reale in Italy; the Barbican in London, and The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.