The Fellini of celebrity photography is back.
In spite of his Guardian interview, where photographer David LaChapelle said, “I never wanted to shoot another pop star — I was tortured by them,” it’s seemingly impossible for LaChapelle to stay away for long. It was only six months after moving to a farm in Hawaii that he got a call from a gallery who wanted him to do a show. But he’s kept a low profile these last few years, until now.
During Art Basel, LaChapelle released two volumes of his signature surreal, decadent pop culture masterpieces. Lost + Found Part I and Good News Part II are books four and five of his anthology that began in 1996 with LaChapelle Land. LaChapelle understands how to highlight the glamour and tragedy of celebrity without making it trite. From Amy Winehouse to Tupac, Madonna to Julian Assange and so many more, LaChapelle’s work is almost always a spiritual experience, whether that spirituality is religious or hedonistic.
Good News and Lost + Found features over 500 photographs of cultural figures from Hillary Clinton to David Bowie. Many of the images were shot in Hawaii, where the photographer’s lived for 11 years now. His influence can be seen heavily today, in the sort-of maximalist friendly atmosphere of ‘90s/early 2000s nostalgia we’ve been celebrating. Even Beyoncé’s Instagram pregnancy announcement felt like a LaChapelle creation, and it wasn’t too far off — the photographer was a former intern of LaChapelle.
But this time, he might actually be saying bye. “I just feel it,” he told the Miami New-Times. “I know there won’t be more books like this. They’re definitely the culmination of everything I’ve imagined.”