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Hotel La Chapelle  
Francesca Romana Orlando
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art, May 13th 1999, n. 184

The american photographer, known since the '80 among the young artists promoted by Andy Warhol, is one of the most relevant protagonists of Pop Art. We may compare him to Jeff Koons for the provocative situations portraited and for the kitsch style. La Chapelle creates surrealistic environments with the absurd juxtposition of objects, that are not proportioned. The making of the set takes a very long preparation, controlled by photographer himself, who wants to give importance to every single detail.

Typically Pop are the themes sex/food/death, the three main psychological forces used by advertising in order to seduce the public. We may see them in the work "Spaghetti Drama", that presents a very fat woman in a bath covered with pasta and treatened by a top model handling a huge fork.
Other settings are in the typical post-human style because of the fetish, the pieces of cutted bodys, such as the photography of two models whose head has been exchanged.

The international success of La Chapelle is probably due to his ability in playing with the situations, with glamour, style, fashion and with celebrities themselves, who are portraited in provocative situations. There is always the quotation of the style of the '70s, as the artist admit, in particular to the spontaneity and vitality of that time, when he started to work for the review edited by Warhol, "Interview".

La Chapelle is definitly one of the most interesting artists of our time and we should not consider him as jist a photographer but as an artist, such as other artists/photographers: Aziz+Coucher, Serrano o Cindy Sherman. It is photography itself to become a main instrument of expression in contemporary art because after the revolution made by Andy Warhol, it gives the opportunity to move along the borders of reality with reality itself, creating a tautological language that plays with the mechanisms of rapresentation and opens the way to a discussion on the meaning of art, that is just the main sense of twentieth century art.

Today La Chapelle's photographies are the most wanted by fashion art directors and advertisers, for example the advertising for Camel, Gaultier Perfume, Pepsi, Levis, Disel Jeans, Armani Jeans. His internationa succes began in 1995, when he won the Price as Best Photographer of The Year and Best Photographer for the french and american press. In 1996 he was nominated as Photographer of the Year by the VH-1 Fashion Awards.

Now he is working on his first independent film, tha follows the experiences with music videos and for MTV.

La 	Chapelle fig. 1
La Chapelle

La 	Chapelle fig. 2
La Chapelle



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