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Recollections in America, VI: Kahlua and Milk

Artwork Factory

The photograph is part of the series “Recollections in America” by the US- American artist David LaChapelle. In this photo, a lively party seems to be in progress. But the celebration gets out of hand: a child is given the coffee liquor Kahlua in a flask. A gun and a grenade are lying on the dresser. Is the photo staged or did the photographer take a snapshot of a bizarre party?

David LaChapelle is a star photographer! Already at the age of 17 he was photographing the stars, for Andy Warhol’s celebrity magazine “Interview”, among others. He is also a film director and has made music videos for Britney Spears, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and many others. But this photography is completely different – there are no stars to be seen!

David collected photo albums at flea markets that show snapshots of average American parties. Potato chips are eaten from plastic plates amidst middle-class furniture, America-loving posters hang on the walls, someone has brought his rifle, and there is a hand grenade on the sideboard. Is that not an exaggeration?

"My photographs are concerned with things like consumption, obsessions, ideals of beauty, excess."

David LaChapelle

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The impression does not deceive, because David LaChapelle has manipulated the photographs and added some things. David photographed one of his studio employees and inserted him several times in the photo montages of “Recollections in America.”

Look closely

Can you find any other strange things in the picture? What is real and what is fake?

DISCUSS

Is it fair that people are cast in a different light by manipulating photos?