DAVID LACHAPELLE: Recollections in America

‘NEO-COLLAGES’ OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

 
 © David LaChapelle | Recollections in America | White on White, Los Angeles, 2006

© David LaChapelle | Recollections in America | White on White, Los Angeles, 2006

 

Photography is powerful. It has a way of communicating beyond words, of proving stories with means that come close to eyewitness reports: After all, “I’ve seen it with my very eyes” means much more than “I heard about it”.

With digital photography and the development of computer programs it was only logical that manipulated photographs would appear sooner or later to powerfully influence the viewers’ opinions and perceptions of certain situations.

But edited photographs can also make a statement. DAVID LACHAPELLE, born in 1963, builds ‘neo-collages’ from photographs of intimate family gatherings in the US during the 1970-1980’s. With a unique production process he introduces additional people or objects (such as flags, firearms, slogans) to the pictures to heighten the symbolism of American power. Preventing the viewer from discerning the original snapshots from the re-imagined, the manipulations nuance the contradiction of the ‘American dream’ that is already visible in the original photographs.

 
 © David LaChapelle | Recollections in America | Party on Twin Beds | Los Angeles, 2006

© David LaChapelle | Recollections in America | Party on Twin Beds | Los Angeles, 2006

 

Galerie Bene Taschen Cologne shows DAVID LACHAPELLE’s Recollections in America together with JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ' series Spanish Harlem, a series of intimate and candid portraits of US-American people and their living situations throughout the 1970’s and 80’s. Although the photographers show two very different social spheres within society, both address a collective consciousness whilst exposing the diversity and eccentricity of life in the US over these two decades.

 

The exhibitions runs from 26 April - 7 June 2018
at the Galerie Bene Taschen Cologne.


Story by Anna Klappenbach