The lightning works of David LaChapelle exhibited in Trieste

It’s already a month since David LaChapelle bewitched Trieste with his photographs, exhibited at the Salone degli Incanti with the exhibition “Fulmini”. The retrospective, curated by the artist’s Studio and under the direction of Gianni Mercurio, presents ninety-two works on glass and paper, the result of over fifty years of career. About ten are the extra-large format works, exhibited for the first time on this occasion, which make the visit even more spectacular and scenographic.

David LaChapelle, “My own Marylin”, 2002
Courtesy David LaChapelle

The exhibition itinerary is divided into two phases, split by a dazzling intuition (hence the title of the exhibition) which took place between 2004 and 2006: finding himself in front of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, LaChapelle was struck by an “aesthetic-mystical shock ” which led the artist to focus on his relationship with nature and the art of the past.

This break is outlined by the 2007 cycle entitled “The Deluge”, where a catastrophic flood sweeps away the world and its artistic and cultural production. Humanity gives way to nature which, after the creation of absolute chaos through disastrous atmospheric events, always manages to find a balance, both material and aesthetic.

David LaChapelle, “When the World is Through”, 2005
Courtesy David LaChapelle

Before this thematic revolution, LaChapelle’s works were characterized by the presence of movie stars, fashion celebrities and rising artists that, in their representation of all too blatant aesthetic perfection, manage to reveal an irreverent and ironic side of showbiz. The theatrical and fluorescent images that have become iconic and extremely representative of the unique style of the American photographer were mostly created thanks to the help of the particular manual retouching technique applied directly on the negatives. 

The exhibition, promoted by the Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Municipality of Trieste, with the organization of PromoTurismoFVG in collaboration with Madeinar, will remain open until 15 August 2023.