Postmodern Pop Photography at the Tel Aviv Museum

Reknowned photographer David LaChapelle has arrived to Israel! The Tel Aviv Museum is proud to present a retrospective of his work over the past twenty years on display until October 22nd. Irit Mor tells us why it is an exhibit not to be missed.

A large selection of the works by provocative photographer David LaChapelle (born in Connecticut, U.S.A., 1963) is on exhibit in Israel for the first time, providing a comprehensive retrospective of his unique and daring style throughout the past twenty years.

Alongside familiar subversive photographs originally commissioned for articles dealing with fashion and the glamorous world of Hollywood stars, the show exhibits LaChapelle's personal non-commissioned projects, created as part of his artistic and critical expression. In these projects, he seeks to juxtapose contrasting concepts through visual representation: hope and despair, growth in the shadows of devastation and renewal and degeneration. He portrays unusual combinations of surprisingly familiar symbols mixed with anonymous models, creating oxymoronic images of the beauty of destruction and the glamour of disaster.

His images are laden with symbolism and metaphors - from devout Christian iconography to Hollywood kitsch to blatant pornography of overdosing addicts and street gangs. He photographed the singer Madonna with an angelic halo and Courtney Love as if a Pieta holding a slouching naked man whose image is a combination of Jesus and her dead husband Kurt Cobain. In photographs of scenes from the New Testament, Jesus has piercings, Maria Magdalena possesses enticing cleavage and clerics are in the image of Los Angeles gang members. In the photograph of the biblical flood all the figures are naked but wear sports shoes by leading brands and muscular male bodies are adorned with tattoos and photogenic tans.

LaChapelle takes the photographed image to the extreme of a blunt cliché, which collapses into an almost perfect grotesque due to the redundant color and exaggerated processing; surprisingly, beyond the excess, human gestures and unexpected vulnerability are revealed.

Tel: 03-6077020
Address: 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd, Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center, Tel Aviv
Visiting hours:
Sunday – closed
Monday, Wednesday: 10:00-16:00
Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00-22:00
Friday: 10:00-14:00
Saturday: 10:00-16:00