The large-scale solo exhibition ‘David LaChapelle. I Believe in Miracles, at the MUDEC in Milan, produced by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE and promoted by the Comune di Milano-Cultura, is the result of a journey of artistic research lasting a lifetime which presents a previously unseen and, to some extent, surprising David LaChapelle. Over 90 works are displayed – including large formats, site-specific installations and new productions – directly from the artist’s studio, to present his vision of a new world and a potential new humanity.
A series of works that are part of the new, visionary phase of LaChapelle
Starting with his early works, the eyes of the public are opened for the first time at the Museum of Cultures to a previously unseen series of works that are part of the new and visionary phase of his output – the last, dated 2022 – the result of the powerful legacy of his lengthy artistic and human experience. With an unprecedented project curated by Reiner Opoku and Denis Curti in partnership with LaChapelle studio, the Museum of Cultures hosts an exhibition itinerary that critically examines the human soul, investigating its various facets of joy, pain, solitude and passion, insecurities and ideals. Humankind and its relationship with itself, human beings in the surrounding environment and in society, humankind in nature. A very personal vision that the Mudec has chosen to present by staging this retrospective of the artist, furthering anthropological reflection on the present.
The exhibition includes over 90 works which unfold in a flowing and captivating narrative, through the artist’s very personal vision of a “gestural” kind of photography; that is, a snapshot of the present while “alert” for the future ahead.
Images that reveal LaChapelle’s vision for a new world
Starting with works that portray the vulnerability of the planet and the fragility of humankind, together with a repertoire that looks at pop culture and the stars of cinema, music and art, the exhibition winds its way through images that reveal the artist’s vision for a new world. A world that seeks an uncontaminated and luxurious nature where everyone can experience spirituality, love and beauty and where men and women can finally live liberated from alienation and in unity with the natural context.
The exhibition itinerary is a personal journey steeped in memories and sentiment that purposely mixes a non- chronological order with the experiences of a professional and private life which, in the end, prove to be on the same level. New photos have been exhibited for the first time following the challenging experience of the two-year pandemic. They have been conceived in the natural surroundings of Hawaiian forests, where LaChapelle has made his home.
The photos interpret certain passages from the Bible and seem to signify a “change of pace”. His style gradually becomes more intimate and pensive. The settings relinquish, at least partially, the surreal dimension to descend into a more realistic atmosphere.
Less saturated compared to his previous works, the colours invite us to go back in time to reflect on our values and on the need to see also ourselves in a miraculous new world.
Opening image: David LaChapelle, ‘Gas: Shell’, 2012, Hawaii (©David LaChapelle)