Where art imitates life imitating art.
Living off-the-grid in Maui for the past decade, esteemed photographer David LaChapelle recently returned to Paris with his latest solo exhibition, “Letter to the World” at Galerie Templon’s new space at Rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare. The large-scale exhibition of over 50 new works, largely inspired by LaChapelle’s spiritual journey through his seclusion in the rainforests of Hawaii, is designed to create a dialogue between two contrasting worlds – destruction vs. utopia; excess vs. redemption.
Sparking conversation and pushing boundaries have always been at the heart of LaChapelle’s work with A-listers, but his newfound focus away from the realm of celebrity portraits is decidedly more out-there than ever.
“Photographing the unphotographable: That’s something I’ve enjoyed doing since way back,” says LaChapelle.
Image Credit: The Art Gorgeous
And ‘the unphotographable’ truly comes to life in “Letter to the World.” Radical still life’s, lush landscapes, out-of-this-world textures and mesmerising figures all combine in what feels like a psychedelic trip through another world; bringing our society’s quest for eternal youth and materialistic beauty into question.
LaChapelle’s clever use of the split levels of the gallery allows viewers to take an immersive journey first through the lower level, exploring themes of destruction, before ascending the grandiose gallery stairs to the upper level where they’ll find LaChapelle’s fantastical vision for what he calls ‘the New World,’ drawing on his vision for a wild utopia.
Whether poetic warning of the fate that will befall our society should our rampant consumption continue or merely food for thought, “Letter to the World” promises to plunge you head-first into an LSD-esque world where past, present and future collide. Particularly poignant when you consider the UN’s latest warnings on the state of our planet.