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Art Index: David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle – Heaven to Hell (

I didn’t see any difference between being a photographer or being an artist. I didn’t make those boundaries. If someone wants to think it’s art, that’s great, but I’ll let history decide.”

- David LaChapelle


David LaChapelle was born in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1963. A great admirer of Andy Warhol, LaChapelle attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of the Arts in New York. Following his first photography show at Gallery 303, he was hired by Andy Warhol to work at Interview Magazine.

David LaChapelle - pelle is one of the most famous American photographers, often associated with the fields of fashion and advertising, and considered an outsider in the world of art. He has previously stated in an interview that his choice to pursue work in the fashion and advertising industry, in the beginning,was due to the fact that, at the time, they were the only sectors that would allow him to live cultivating his passion: photography.

During his years as a photographer, he has created portraits that merge pure advertising and pop art. His works are characterized by a striking use of strong colors, an intriguing choice of subjects, and often portray revisitations of sacred themes such as the nativity, the universal flood, or resurrection.

David LaChapelle - My Own Marilyn (

Working in the world of fashion and the constant interaction with its star system allowed LaChapelle to make himself known to the general public through collaboration with the most important magazines of the time, and the creation of portraits of celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, and Madonna.

A defining chapter in LaChapelle’s life was the moment he discovered he was not HIV positive, after the death of his partner. Until then, LaChapelle claims he saw the world as if only in black and white, felt suffocated by the burden, and in constant fear his life would soon end too. The negative result opened a world of colour which is impressed in all of his work.

I wanted it to provide an escape route, I wanted to make pictures that were fantastic and took you into another world, one that was brighter. I started off with this idea.”

- David LaChapelle

In 2006, while in Rome, he was struck by Michelangelo's masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel, which inspired him to give himself completely to art and no longer to fashion. The result of the transition can be seen in his work 'The Deluge', a series of photos inspired by Michelangelo's Great Flood.

This was followed by 'After the Deluge', a series of photos that showed a reality in which all the objects and symbols of today's world are submerged. The series was inspired by the fear of loss the postmodern man has in the face of an age of great change.

David LaChapelle- Deluge (

LaChapelle’s signature blend of colorful, conceptual imagery bears the influence of both surrealism and pop art. Often humorous or provocative, his use of full or partial nudity in numerous advertisements and editorial shoots prompted Helmut Newton to remark, “A lot of the nudity is just gratuitous. But someone who makes me laugh is David LaChapelle. I think he's very bright, very funny, and good.” An avid consumer of pop culture, LaChapelle is also inspired by the breadth of art history, frequently evoking the compositions or poses of Renaissance paintings. (

Since 2006 La Chapelle has lived in Hawaii, on the island of Maui, where he founded an organic farm powered only by hydro-solar energy and does not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Over the course of his thirty-year career, David LaChapelle continues to be inspired by everything from art history to street culture, from metaphysics to immortality.

His photographs are included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.


David LaChapelle - Deluge (

According to price’s turnover in 2019 is $289,629 with the last peak in price dated 2012 with a turnover of $911,581. Most of his works were sold in the range of $10,000-$50,000. The oldest auction result ever registered on the website for an artwork by this artist is a photograph sold in 1998, at Swann Galleries, and the most recent auction result is a photograph sold in 2020.'s price levels for this artist are based on 681 auction results. Especially: photography, print-multiple.

Distribution by price (by Artprice)

There are no artworks by David LaChapelle currently listed in upcoming public auctions.



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