I am beginning to wonder what is more interesting as a freelance photographer….writing about other photographer’s works or snapping my own? This exhibit of work of Michael Jackson should get tongues wagging….uh huh!
The name David LaChapelle may be synonymous with celebrity portraiture (he’s shot everyone from Lady Gaga to Hillary Rodham Clinton during his 30-year career), but, as the 47-year-old photographer proudly notes, his surname, French for “the chapel,” is Huguenot in origin. “It’s literally in my blood to question the church,” he says.
LaChapelle does exactly that in his latest exhibit, which opens today at Chelsea’s Paul Kasmin Gallery. Titled “American Jesus,” the show casts LaChapelle’s longtime friend Michael Jackson, shot just before his death last year in a series of iconic Biblical scenes. Another one of the photographer’s controversial pals, Naomi Campbell, makes a cameo as Botticelli’s Venus.
Here, WWD talks with LaChapelle about the King of Pop, martyrdom and buying the naming rights to a church.