David LaChapelle: The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

David LaChapelle: Flowers, Early Fall

David LaChapelle: Pieta With Courtney Love, 2006

David LaChapelle: Christina Aguilera

David LaChapelle: Eminem

David LaChapelle: Amanda Lepore, Breast-Feeding

David LaChapelle: Madonna

David LaChapelle: David Beckham

David LaChapelle: The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

During the course of his artistic career, David LaChapelle was hired by Andy Warhol, fired by Madonna, photographed Pamela Anderson, Lady Gaga, and Hillary Clinton, and made a star of the transgender personality Amanda Lepore. He earned millions and spent much of that on his self-financed movie about an urban dance form created in the rough neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. When the film, Rize, failed to attract a large audience, the weary LaChapelle packed up his career and disappeared.

Now, LaChapelle is back in New York briefly, overseeing his one-man show at a Madison Avenue art gallery and a separate commissioned installation that is opening in the lobby of the Lever House on Park Avenue. With their erotic gloss, their sizzling aesthetics and their slick production values, the photographs at Michelman Fine Art are recognizably the work of a man who in his editorial work for Vanity Fair, Interview, Rolling Stone and others photographed David Duchovny dressed in Lycra bondage trousers, Kanye West as Black Jesus, a turbaned Elizabeth Taylor looking like a $5 fortune teller, Eminem naked but for a well-placed prop and other stars like Tupac Shakur (wearing soap bubbles), Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga baring their souls for the camera, along with a good deal more.

At the Lever House, however, the artist has returned to techniques he employed when, at the very beginning of his career, long before he became the go-to video director for pop music divas, he used naïve, childlike forms like linked paper chains to make his work. In the space that in the past has presented exhibitions of works by artists such as Barbara Kruger and Damien Hirst, Mr. LaChapelle has hung the chains from walls and ceiling in looping festoons. At first glance, the stapled links only look like colorful decorations for a children’s party, but when viewed more closely they reveal images of naked bodies, as an allegory for human connection.

Viewers can read more about David LaChapelle’s return to the art scene in The New York Times here.

David LaChapelle: Elton John/Candle in the Wind (Marilyn)

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/12216162 w=720&h=460]

David LaChapelle: Elton John/Philadelphia Freedom

Photo-Gallery: David LaChapelle/The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

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Sam Taylor-Wood: “Still Life” and the Acceptance of Mortality

Sam Taylor-Wood was born in London in 1967 and is a contemporary artist who works mostly in video, video installations and photography. She has been identified as one of the leading figures in the younger British Artist Group. Sam Taylor-Wood’s video installations and photographs depict human dramas and isolated emotional situations, such as a quarreling couple and tense social gatherings, people shown in solitary, awkward, or vulnerable moments. These psychologically evocative artistic narratives are often presented on a grand scale, in room-encompassing video projections or 360-degree photographic panoramas that are accompanied by sound tracks. Taylor-Wood was nominated for England’s Turner Prize in 1998.

Her works after 1996 have often featured celebrity friends: Elton John was included in a large photo-work, and he commissioned Taylor-Wood to make a promotional video starring Robert Downey Jr. for his recording of I Want Love (1986). In 2002, she was commissioned by London’s National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of David Beckham sleeping. Taylor-Wood’s film David (2004) allowed gallery visitors to watch Beckham, who was then England’s football Captain, sleep. It provided viewers with an intimate, serene vision of an otherwise heavily exposed celebrity. She has also been a long-time collaborator with The Pet Shop Boys, having produced films for their Somewhere concerts in London. She was also a guest vocalist on two Pet Shop Boys produced songs, their rendition of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je t’aime…moi non plus” and Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby.”

Still Life (2001) has been said to be one of the most classical works in contemporary art. It carved a permanent record for itself in art history with hardly any commentary. This is not just a Still Life. It is based upon a particular type of still life painting that developed during the 16th and 17th centuries in Flanders and the Netherlands. It is part of a classical genre that contains symbols of change or death as a reminder of their inevitability. Its focus was upon confronting the vanity of worldly things through often subtle signs of elapsing time and decay. Some of the older works had obvious references like skulls, but others simply had a watch or slightly rotting fruit.

Sam Taylor-Wood’s film represents yet another step in that direction: the image, beautiful as ever in Taylor-Wood’s universe, decomposes itself. By the end of the short film, nothing is left but a grey amorphous mass. But upon closer inspection, one detail distinguishes this picture from its predecessors. The plastic ballpoint pen, a cheap contemporary object. One that doesn’t seem to decay and doesn’t seem to be a part of the universal process of self-disappearing life. Is this what is really left here to stay after we are gone, this nothingness, this ridiculous attribute of ourselves?

This is a very poor reflection of our vanity. We have become more and more accustomed to believing that our feelings of real success and personal worth are to be measured vicariously against the lives of celebrities, business magnates and influential politicians, along with the images that they convey of power, wealth, designer fashions, and rich interiors filled with gold and crystal. But Taylor-Wood’s message is that we don’t need all of that. We get the point, nothing more is necessary. A simple basket, some light. Time. And a cheap plastic pen.

Sam Taylor-Wood: Still Life and Mortality

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My Faves for Friday, December 07, 2007

“Photo of the Day: Storefront-Xmas-Tree.” This is a colorful, delightfully shaded holiday photograph. The photograph is presented for you in stunning high-resolution.

Seasons greetings to all, and I hope that you enjoy this one!!

[tags: Photo of the Day, photograph, Christmas, Xmas]

 

Josh Groban’s wonderful Christmas album was released in October and is titled Noel. Groban interprets holiday classics without sacrificing an ounce of the charm that has made them so beloved. The album debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts. This article includes great photographs, and two of Josh Groban’s music videos are included.

[tags: celebrities, Josh Grogan, Christmas album, Noel, music, music video, Christmas, photographs]

 

“Photo of the Day: Santa-Pretzel.” This is a very colorful and humorous holiday photograph. The photograph is presented for your enjoyment in superb high-resolution.

[tags: Photo of the Day, Christmas, Santa Claus, Santa, photograph, photography]

 

Knut stole German hearts from the moment he stepped out into his enclosure. But the baby polar bear has fans all over the world. Many of them traveled to Berlin this week to help him celebrate his first birthday. They came to Berlin from all over the world.

Photographs, a photo-gallery, and video are included. Enjoy!

[tags: Knut, polar bear, Berlin zoo, Germany, photographs, video]

 

L’eau Life is an animation film created to explore animating water in motion with water color. It captures both the feel of water and the emotion of being in it. It develops an energy that feels almost hypnotic, but happily so. It became a celebration of both water and summer. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz and the animation video are included

[tags: celebrities, video, animation, animation video, movie, film, animation film]

 

“The Beckhams Present: Their Pathetic History of Soccer in America.” This piece has a hilarious animation of David and Victoria Beckham coming to Los Angeles. Stunning photographs in high-resolution and the animation video are included.

Take a look and have a good laugh!!

[tags: David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, Posh, humor, video, animation video, sexy]

 

On its 75th Anniversary and forever young, The Radio City Rockettes and “The Christmas Spectacular” came flying into the Art Deco Radio Music Hall and proved to be nothing less than “Superspectacular.” This article includes wonderful, colorful photographs, and five videos of The Rockettes and this year’s Christmas Spectacular.

Take a look at this one and enjoy!!

[tags: video, music, Christmas, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, The Rockettes, Santa Claus, Santa]

See the rest of my Faves at Faves

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The Beckhams Present: Their Pathetic History of Soccer in America

It’s Just So Exhausting Being Victoria All Day

Big Hat and Big Chest Thingees

Bad Boy Beckham

Very, Very Bad Boy Beckham

Mommy, My Foot Got Hurt Again

And Now Watch Our Little Show Here!!

The Beckhams: A Pathetic History of Soccer in America

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Photos of the Day: Bad Boy Beckham

Photos of the Day: Bad Boy Beckham

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Photo of the Day: Dozing Tattooed Hunk

Sam Taylor-Wood’s Filmed Portrait of David Beckham: National Portrait Gallery (London)

And Beckham Sleeps

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Victoria Beckham’s America: Hollywood Frills, Diamond Dildos and Other Fictions

Have you heard? They hated my television program. The creeps.

Yes, very sadly, it’s true. Victoria has been terribly misunderstood and subjected to the most vile sorts of public criticism. For example, Linda Stasi had the nerve to write this in the New York Post:

NBC should get down on its knees and make a giant no vena of thanks that soccer star David Beckham was called back to Europe before it could finish filming his relentlessly self-promoting wife’s reality series, “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America.”

And, while we’re at it, the aforementioned relentlessly self-promoting wife should do the same.

If this weren’t a one-shot deal and people were exposed to her vapid, condescending behavior on a weekly basis, she’d not just be unwelcome in America, she’d be run out on a rail – whatever that means.

Anyway, the proposed series, now downsized to a one-hour “special,” is an orgy of self-indulgence so out of whack with, er, reality that you’ll sit there slack-jawed at the gall of these people who think we are that stupid.”

If that wasn’t enough public humiliation for poor Victoria to suffer, Allessandra Standley published these horrible comments in The New York Times:

There has to be something going on behind the scenes because there is no other way to explain so much time and videotape spent on the moving arrangements of Mr. Beckham’s wife. Mrs. Beckham, the once and future Spice Girl nicknamed Posh, is somewhat famous for being sort of famous, and is photographed a lot in Britain, a nation so open to media hypnosis that a Web site devoted to the ripening of a 44-pound wheel of cheddar has received more than a million Internet hits. (As of today Wedginald is on Day 206.)

And watching Victoria Beckham: Coming to America is a little like that site, cheddarvision.tv — although the cheddar probably has an ounce or two on Mrs. Beckham, who is also famous for being thin but with very large breasts.

Seriously, do they look that big, do they really?” she asks, shaking her décolletage during a coffee-shop confrontation with the gossip blogger known as Perez Hilton. “They’re not that big in the flesh,” she explains. The blogger agrees and says he would really prefer a nude picture of Mrs. Beckham’s husband.”

Mr. Beckham’s move to Los Angeles has been promoted by AEG, Mr. Anschutz’s company, with even more than the usual meteor shower of publicity that surrounds a movie opening. The arrival is more like a giant P.R. asteroid hurtling toward Earth.”

I have waited a couple of days to collect my thoughts about all of this. First of all, I was very happy to see that Victoria is taking up right where The Anna Nicole Show left off. Anna, of course, had no real friends. She only had the people that she paid to be around her, like the infamous Bobby Trendy and Howard K. Stern (and I do miss them so). Victoria stepped right into that big empty place, filling it in with her own entourage of faux-friends, including her make-up artist and hair stylist “pals,” to name just a couple.

Second, as you will see in the video that is presented below, Victoria has an incredibly talented, astonishing on-screen presence. Or, as she would put it, “Major.” The best example that I can point out of that amazing talent is her coffee-shop interview with the self-proclaimed gossip-queen Perez Hilton. Victoria Beckham actually manages to make Perez Hilton look something like a real human being, which probably has never occurred on American television previously.

Then, Victoria gives us a discreet, tasteful look at what it’s like to be the honored guest at an afternoon “High Tea” with the golden-haired, Botoxed and bosomy matrons of the super-exclusive “Beverly Hills Socialites Club.” That’s where you get an up-close and real personal look at what real Hollywood money is all about!!

Finally, you should know that The L. A. Times came out with the extremely embarrassing report that David Beckham spent $1.8 million on a diamond-encrusted dildo for Victoria. Of course, true lady that she is, Victoria responded that she doesn’t have it. But since other ditzy Hollywood socialites, like Paris Hilton, have been known to lose things like that down there, Victoria’s disclaimer certainly doesn’t mean that she never had it!

And now for a few modest photographs:

Victoria Beckham: Coming to America

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