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David LaChapelle

Recollections in America, V: Good Times

Information about the artwork

  • Year2006
  • MaterialC-print
  • Dimensions64 x 79.5 cm
  • Year of acquisition2007
  • Inventory numberUAB 634 5/13
  • On viewCurrently not exhibited
  • Copyright© David LaChapelle. Photo: Haydar Koyupinar, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich

More about the artwork

David LaChapelle is known for his opulently staged photographs of stars and supermodels. He owed the beginning of his stellar career as a celebrity photographer to Andy Warhol, who first commissioned him for “Interview” magazine in the early 1980s. “Recollections in America” is quite extraordinary for LaChapelle’s œuvre. The pictures are reminiscent of party snapshots; the persons shown seem less to play a part than to forget their parts: an elderly lady throws up in company, an apparently drunk man fills Kahlúa into a baby bottle. The longer the viewer looks at the photographs, the more inconsistencies are noticeable. Who would put a hand grenade onto a sideboard and why does the same man reappear several times? Photo albums from the 1970s and 1980s provide the foundation for this series. LaChapelle has digitally mounted elements such as the hand grenade into the photographs. These collages draw a memorable picture of suburban life in the United States—the dark side of the “American dream.”

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