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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in David LaChapelle Love's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, January 17th, 2009
12:14 pm
David Directs Commercial for Macleans Toothpaste
Visual effects, CGI, DI and telecine specialist Prime Focus London has posted a glamourous new spot for Macleans toothpaste in which two well-heeled strangers dance an impromptu tango on a street at night.

The 60-second cinema commercial is filmed in trademark theatrical style by acclaimed director David La Chappelle for production company H.S.I anfd agency M&C Saatchi.

Article source: http://www.4rfv.co.uk/industrynews.asp?id=87764

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
9:52 pm
why wasnt this us?
As one of Molly Gottschalk’s first tasks for her new employer, she was asked to transfer his contacts to his new iPhone. Pam Anderson, Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Madonna; this was no ordinary Rolodex – just as this was in no way an ordinary job.

Molly, a 21-year-old Wilmington native and 2005 Hoggard High School graduate, first discovered photographer David LaChapelle through Leah Williams, a former fashion photographer who was Molly’s mentor during her senior year.

“She showed me David’s book Hotel LaChapelle. It was hot pink and came in this glossy hot pink box. The full bleed photographs and saturated colors … each image was so surreal and controversial. I was just captivated by it. The settings were so elaborate, and there was so much meaning behind each photograph. From that day on, he was my favorite photographer,” Molly said.

She pursued her passion by enrolling at the Savannah College of Art & Design. Midway through her second year, while logging into her MySpace account, she caught a glimpse of the name “LaChapelle.” After taking a closer look at the ad, the words on the screen ignited her imagination – “Win a photo shoot with David LaChapelle.” To register, all she had to do was submit a 100-200 word essay on herself and the URL of to her MySpace page. The winner got a personal photo session with LaChapelle. “I never expected to win. I don’t even remember what I wrote, but I didn’t make any changes to my MySpace page. I had a bunch of goofy dress-up photos on there – me with dreads, as Paris Hilton for Halloween…. It definitely came across that I did not take myself too seriously.”

An e-mail changed her life.

“I had just gotten out of the shower and was about to get ready to go out for the night when I received an e-mail on MySpace saying, ‘Please contact Paul Cupo at my studio immediately.’ I e-mailed Paul my phone number and instantly he called. Paul told me that out of 8,000 people who applied to David’s contest, he had chosen me. I was still in my towel and I began trembling. It was like a dream that I never quite woke up from.”

Why David chose Molly: “He said I came across very genuine and honest – like I was not trying to impress him,” she said.

California dreaming becomes a reality

She flew out to L.A. alone, having never been to California, and with the hope of staying with a distant cousin she never met. Wearing a short yellow dress and a large diamond clip in her hair, she sat in the reception area of David’s L.A. studio peering through the floor-to-ceiling windows, wondering if she could live up to David’s expectations.

“It’s a strange feeling being chosen for something based on photos on the Internet,” she said. “I hoped I would come across the way they envisioned I’d be.”

Then, their eyes met through the glass.

He insisted Molly stay at his other house in L.A. “Instantly, he was so generous. I couldn’t believe it.”

During Molly’s first week at the studio, David was shooting the MTV Video Music Awards promotional ads for Billboard Magazine. Each day, a different star breezed by her desk – Rihanna, Kanye, The Foo Fighters.

“I had to be careful not to appear star struck. One day David called, ‘Molly, Molly! Come in here. I have someone I want you to meet.’” It was Fergie.

Molly closely observed David’s dedication to his work. “Some people may be surprised how serious he takes his work since his photos are so wild, fierce and spontaneous. Each shoot requires weeks, months of planning. There are long hours in the office. David always incorporates an element of art history into his work. The details are all significant in one way or another. He plans every move he makes. I was nervous for a while since I look up to him so much.”

David promoted Molly to the position of studio production assistant. He also cast Molly as the studio’s house model with on-camera appearances in a Motorola commercial, a J Lo video and as a 1970s junkie model in a Boogie Nights-style video for Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for the live Red Piano show in Las Vegas.

‘It opened my eyes’

The Elton John shoot was the same week Molly was scheduled to return to school in Savannah. She decided to put her education on hold.

Molly’s parents, Joy Gottschalk and Ben Gottschalk (both based in Wilmington), did not protest her decision. “They’ve been unbelievably supportive and proud of my experience. They are just so excited for me,” Molly said.

After several months of budget-busting $20 Ginger Roger martinis at Bar Marmont, all-night dance parties in Milan and easy access beyond Hollywood’s exclusive velvet ropes, Molly finally fulfilled her contest prize with a one-on-one photo session with David. Late one Friday evening, they entered the prop room together where they put on a mock fashion show holding up a series of potential outfits. David was very specific about Molly’s hair and makeup, insisting on a nude lip, lots of lashes and no foundation to create a film noir aesthetic and accentuate her natural beauty.

“It was so nice to have this time with him. It was such an intimate, special experience....something I’ll never forget. He stood a few feet away from me while he shot. There were fans blowing my hair everywhere. He was an incredible director always giving me specific direction on how to turn my face, move my eyes, etc. He took at least 300 photos. I saw a few proofs, and I love them. They are definitely my favorite photos of myself.”

Molly’s portraits will be featured in David’s upcoming gallery show that will be focused on a more fine art-based direction as opposed to his signature fashion/celebrity portraiture. Molly officially reached celebrity status herself as David’s MySpace Muse when Black Book magazine published Molly and David’s serendipitous MySpace rendezvous in the February 2008 “Hollywood” issue.

What will the future bring for this Wilmington-local-turned-L.A.-lady?

“It’s so funny when I think back on the original contest rules since the experience turned into something else entirely. It opened my eyes artistically to a new career. I am now more interested in production, conceptualizing and designing the scene instead of capturing it behind the camera. David LaChapelle has completely changed my life.... Sometimes I wonder...what if I hadn’t looked at MySpace that day?”

Friday, September 7th, 2007
2:27 pm
GWEN STEFANI has been left stunned after discovering she's on photographer/filmmaker DAVID LaCHAPELLE's hit list of ladies he'll never work with again. The in-demand auteur, who shot Christina Aguilera's Dirrty video and the promo for Madonna's Hung Up, has reportedly told his agents not to accept work offers from Stefani, Madonna and Aguilera. Stefani admits she was aware LaChapelle had allegedly listed the ladies he disliked working with - but she had no idea she was among them. She says, "That's news to me... I've worked with him a lot and I love him... David is so talented and he's such a character and I actually find him very, very attractive as well. "I'm sure the next time I run into him I'll give him a kiss on each cheek and we'll laugh, because it's probably just rumours." But the pop singer admits LaChapelle could be very difficult to work with. She adds, "He's very temperamental and that's part of his charm. He's hilarious... He's one of the funniest characters I've ever met. "We did a photo shoot with him with No Doubt and the temper tantrums were all part of it, it's all part of his art."

Monday, August 27th, 2007
9:25 pm
David LaChapelle does another Desperate Housewives promo
Rejoice! Desperate Housewives is back with a shiny new noir-ish sexpot promo. How we love David LaChapelle's delicious take on the upcoming exploits of the ladies of Wisteria Lane.

Check it out:


Current Mood: excited
Thursday, August 16th, 2007
11:52 pm
David LaChapelle does shoot for MT's VMAs
by Steve Baltin

Each of the performers scheduled to appear at this year's MTV Video Music Awards -- Lily Allen, Chris Brown, Fall Out Boy, Rihanna, Timbaland, Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and the Foo Fighters -- gathered in Santa Monica, Calif., recently for an exclusive photo shoot with iconic photographer and film director David LaChapelle. The troupe was also treated to a preview of West's new album, 'Graduation,' due Sept. 11, and of all the tracks, the overwhelming favorite among the performers -- according to MTV's on-set crew -- is 'Stronger.'

All of the photos, though available individually, can be pieced together as part of a larger panoramic that underscores the VMA's Las Vegas-themed event -- specifically, the city's Palms Hotel.

Source and another photo here: http://www.spinner.com/2007/08/16/exclusive-foo-fighters-get-shot-for-mtv-vmas/
8:36 pm
David LaChapelle directs J Lo's new video

Smut for Sale

Out-of-work actors, street-corner regulars and die-hard Jennifer Lopez fans, have we got news for you. They’re casting for J.Lo’s new music video. Gonna be shot by none other than David LaChapelle, and Marc Anthony will not be making a cameo, so the air’s confirmed to be super sex-ay. And instead of trying to connect with her Puerto Rican heritage, as she did semibadly in El Cantante, J.Lo just wants to slut it up this time around. Which are her real roots, right? Without further ado, we present excerpts from said condom-ready call:

"It’s a sexy, sweaty underworld through which Jennifer struts with all the street-tough style of a ghetto goddess, channeling Pam Grier in films like Foxy Brown. She’s a vision of a badass street vixen, starring in a modern take on Sweet Charity.”

Source: http://www.eonline.com/gossip/awful/index.jsp?uuid=c660dd94-fe19-4378-9838-1580239129e2
Friday, July 20th, 2007
6:16 am
German documentary
I'd love to see this...

You may not know the name "David LaChapelle," but you almost certainly know the gay photographer's work, which generally features hot stars like Pamela Anderson, Drew Barrymore, Jim Carrey, and many more, shot against bright, candy-colored backdrops in witty and outrageous positions.

LaChapelle's provocative, eye-popping work is the subject of a new German documentary, David LaChapelle with Paris HiltonCandy in the Eye: The Crazy World of David LaChapelle.

Director Hilka Sinning follows the photographer from L.A. to Barcelona to Milan to Manhattan as he shoots everyone from leggy Vogue models to Shakira to transgender va-va-voom girl Amanda Lepore.

No word on a U.S. theatrical or DVD release, but domestic audiences will have a chance to witness the mania at gay and lesbian film festivals nationwide this summer.


Candy in the Eye - The Crazy World of David LaChapelle - (Germany, 2006, 52 mins)
This duo of entertaining docs provides informative, humorous views of two contemporary queer artists. The lavishly provocative portraiture of art world bad boy David LaChapelle takes center stage in the fast-paced CANDY ON THE EYE - THE CRAZY WORLD OF DAVID LACHAPELLE, which follows the photographer around the world. (....)

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
4:26 am
Some lovely photos of David here:- http://www.filmmagic.com/SearchResult.aspx?str=david+lachapelle&sfld=C
They're pretty small though, unfortunately.

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Is he gorgeous or is he gorgeous?!

Also found these two new ones on Getty, of Pamela Anderson's b'day bash. under the cutCollapse )

Current Mood: in love!
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
11:31 pm
Pam Anderson Parties All Night for 40th Birthday
David was at Pamela Anderson's 40th birthday party.




"While Lee, 44, sat back smiling, Anderson's magic-show costar, Hans Klok, gifted her with an autographed copy of Harry Houdini's only book, written in 1920. "She made Tommy and David LaChapelle touch Houdini's autograph for luck and magic," according to an observer."
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
1:43 pm
David directs Amy Winehouse video
"Amy Winehouse and her 'hive are back with the video for 'Tears Dry on Their Own,' the latest single off her recently gold-certified 'Back to Black' album. In the David LaChapelle-directed clip, a solo Winehouse walks the streets of Hollywood, singing her woes over a lavish sample of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough.' And just for the hell of it, count the number of empty bottles. We found seven."


For those in the UK who can get channel 5, I notice that the Video Exclusive for this is on Sunday 8th July at 19.55. ("An exclusive chance to see the new video from the Ivor Novello and Mojo Award-winning singer, whose 'Back to Black' album has now sold 50 million copies worldwide. 'Tears Dry on Their Own' was shot in Los Angeles by photographer and director David LaChapelle, and the single is due out in August.") Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
4:23 am
Photographer David LaChapelle was at wit's end last week at the Venice Biennale art fair after his longtime assistant, Fred Torres, nearly died in a sleepwalking accident. Torres, who'd taken a sleep aid, fell four floors from his bedroom window at the Ca' dei Conti Hotel, LaChapelle's rep tells us. Torres was treated for a broken pelvis, leg and arm. Art dealer Tony Shafrazi and model Naomi Campbell sprang for a medevac plane to get him to a hospital in Rome, where he's recovering.

Saturday, May 19th, 2007
5:45 am
Wacky wayward widow Courtney Love made her way into Mr. Chow last night, wearing a black formfitting funeral frock with floral embellishments by Alexander McQueen, and escorted by photographer David LaChappelle.

Affecting a French accent, the widow Cobain introduced her new swain, saying, "This is David LaChapelle ... and he is not a homosexual." Okay.

On leaving the chopstick palace, a fan asked for her to sign a photo, which Courtney recognized as one that LaChapelle had taken, and offered to have him sign it too. When the fan said, "no thanks," a pissed Miss Love refused to sign it, while Dave had a more succinct response!


I don't see why he's hanging out with her.
Saturday, April 21st, 2007
4:56 am

by Mary Barone

For the art world, the celebrated glamour photographer David LaChapelle (b. 1969) is a guilty pleasure. His sex-soaked color photos of celebrities and fashion models are just too high-key. Nothing is held back. The lily is not only gilded, but drenched in rhinestones, draped in haute couture and surrounded by the most exotic props imaginable.

It's about time. Minimalism is, like, so 40 years ago.

In addition to his photographs, the Los Angeles-based LaChapelle has made many music videos for performers ranging from Elton John to Gwen Stefani. He's published half a dozen photo books, most recently Artists & Prostitutes 1985-2005, a 688-page collection from Taschen that retails at an impressive $2,500.

LaChapelle's new photographs are on view at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Chelsea in an exhibition titled "Awakened," Feb. 24-Apr. 28, 2007. The title photographs are a dozen life-sized portraits of what seem to be revival-camp followers floating in limbo or upwards to heaven (the subjects were posed in a large water tank). A related group of photographs depict a "Deluge" and are inspired by the Biblical narrative of the flood, though the events are transposed to the present day, with one mural-sized picture seeming to take place in Las Vegas.

Still another group of photographs, printed on a smaller and more intimate scale and displayed in their own back gallery, have a 1970s look. These works, dubbed "Drunk Americans," seem to be everyday snapshots of middle-class gatherings -- with the addition of a few drunk hayseeds with guns.

Despite his success as a commercial photographer, or perhaps because of it, LaChapelle's work is much in demand in art galleries (several pages of his photographs are displayed in the gallery section of Artnet, for instance). His works can be found at Guy Hepner in London and Los Angeles, Goss Gallery in Dallas, Jablonka Galerie in Cologne, Muruani & Noirhomme in Knokke, Belgium, and several others. The Palazzo Reale in Milan plans an exhibition of LaChapelle's works this summer.

LaChapelle's photos are typically produced in larger sizes in editions of three, and priced at $28,000, or in smaller sizes in editions of 10, priced at $8,500.

The following exchange is excerpted from an interview that was conducted at Tony Shafrazi Gallery on Mar. 3, 2007.

interview and photosCollapse )
4:50 am

Open the Floodgates
Photographer David LaChapelle charts a new course

What does a fashion photographer do next after reaching the pinnacle of superstardom, having published numerous celebrity spreads in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, and directed music videos for the likes of Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani? In the case of gay photographer David LaChapelle, the answer is to begin to produce more “serious” art. At his current exhibit, at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Chelsea, we have a fascinating opportunity to view works from just before to just after this celebrated artist’s recent creative transition.

Though LaChapelle’s newest works are the ones closest to the gallery’s entrance, to best appreciate the artist’s transition, begin with the photographs—dated 2002 to 2006—in the gallery’s side rooms. A few pieces feature celebrities in bold, outrageous poses—typical of the style for which LaChapelle is known. In one, Britney Spears holds a huge inflatable hot dog, as part of an ad campaign for the 2002 MTV Music Awards; the phallic symbolism is hard to miss. Nearby, sex icon Pamela Anderson is seen wrestled to the ground by a corpulent woman in pig costume. This photo appeared in a German magazine article about Anderson’s life, and it playfully comments on overweight women who hate her.
Three works that appeared in a 2005 issue of Italian Vogue showcase LaChapelle’s unorthodox approach to fashion photography. We see women outfitted in dresses from Versace and from Viktor and Rolf, standing in the midst of urban rubble that was seemingly caused by a tornado or a bomb (the background is actually the Hollywood studio lot for the movie “War of the Worlds”). Shot just weeks before Hurricane Katrina, but sent to the presses too late to be yanked, these images created some negative buzz about LaChapelle when they were published, as though he were exploiting the human misery in New Orleans for personal gain. Public reaction aside, the photos are a tour-de-force—the women, beautifully coiffed, appear transcendent amidst the chaos.

LaChapelle’s more recent photos from 2007 provide a contrast, as they were created not for advertising campaigns, but in the province of fine art, and they have as their theme a great flood.

His central work is an enormous digital photograph (about 6 feet tall and 23 feet long) titled “Deluge,” which was inspired by Michelangelo’s painting of the same name depicting the biblical Flood that is displayed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Like the Renaissance master’s work, LaChapelle’s depicts several dozen people—all nude, and of a variety of ages and body types—helping each other survive their climate-driven catastrophe. But in the current work, the setting is a modern-day Las Vegas; we can see the ruins of Caesars Palace, and even dislocated signs for Gucci and Starbucks.

Surrounding this piece are portraits of individuals photographed while immersed in glass tanks of water. The artist’s extraordinary use of light makes the subjects appear to be ascending to heaven. Their first names, many of them biblical sounding (for example, Deborah, Job, Hannah), serve as their respective titles. Completing these new works are staged photos of flooded interiors, including cathedrals and museums; they are as beautiful as they are somber.

The specific motivations that have driven this artist from glam camp toward apocalypse are a mystery to me (concerns over global warming? his own impending middle age?). But one connection between the artist’s before and after seems to be an overarching theme of decadence. I doubt David LaChapelle will give up fashion photography any time soon—at age 44, he still has much to explore in the way of both glee and gloom. As evidenced by his current show, this is a man who is striving for creative balance.

“Awakened,” 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Tues.–Sat., until April 28, at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 544 W. 26th St., tonyshafrazigallery.com, 212-274-9300. Rafael Risemberg, Ph.D., leads LGBT art gallery tours through New York Gallery Tours, nygallerytours.com, 212-946-1548. Next tours are Sat., April 21, and Sat., May 19.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
1:51 am
In case anyone happens to be in Dallas
you don't want to miss award-winning photographer David LaChapelle's new exhibit, a collection of underwater-themed pieces called "Awakened." LaChapelle's images have been seen on the covers of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair . 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Goss Gallery, 2500 Cedar Springs Road. Free. 214-696-0555.

Thursday, March 15th, 2007
9:52 pm


Monday, March 5th, 2007
12:20 pm
David LaChapelle: New Skyy Ads Coming Out
INCREASINGLY, DISTILLED SPIRITS COMPANIES ARE calling attention to the creative behind the creative in an attempt to give their brands an air of distinction and sophistication.

Whether it's a nod to the cognoscenti or simply feel-good creative for the ad agency and/or client, the use of famous photographers, designers and filmmakers to make new print ads is being increasingly ballyhooed by upscale distilled spirits marketers.

One such company, Drinks Americas, yesterday announced that artwork for its Trump Super Premium Vodka created by "world famous" New York designer and artist Milton Glaser will be featured on the electronic marquee of Madison Square Garden for the next year, and print ads will appear in such publications as Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today as well as Hamptons Magazine, Ocean Drive, Georgia Peach 944, and XXL Magazine and on bus shelters.

Skyy Vodka this month is running its newest series of creative executions by "acclaimed" photographer and filmmaker David LaChapelle in men's and women's entertainment and lifestyle publications such as ESPN, InStyle, US Weekly and People. The ads will also run as a banner on selected Web sites, including ESPN.com, Evite.com and Gay.com. The LaChapelle images, titled "Rude Boys" and "Dubai," were launched outdoors in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco last month.

Meanwhile, Skyy Vodka's Campari brand recently unveiled its "Hotel Campari" with print ads featuring the work of celebrity photographer Mario Testino and a short film on CampariUSA.com directed by photographer and music video director Matthew Rolston. The print ads will run this year in W, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, among others.


12:14 pm
David LaChapelle's Born to Rock Guitar Design


Born To Rock™ gathers into one place over 150 priceless guitars played by the likes of Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Joan Armatrading, Noel Gallagher, the Edge, Marc Bolan, Neil Young, and blues legend Rory Gallagher. The vast collection includes many rare and extremely valuable guitars, both vintage and modern, and offers visitors a chance to get up close to guitars normally only seen in hands of rock stars.

The centre piece and inspiration for this event is the "RockCouture™" collection: over 50 beautiful and unique electric guitars, personally customised by many of the biggest names in fashion, music and design.

Essentially a history of rock multi-media experience, this fantastic exhibition captures the excitement that goes into the making of the rock 'n' roll concert experience.

The Born To Rock™ exhibition is open to the public free of charge.

The Guitar

Model, musician, artiste, and fabulous girl-about-town Amanda Lepore is David's muse. Their work together includes numerous artistic photographs, advertising campaigns and exhibitions.


10:18 am
A photo essay  I found with the article:


Which is everyone's favorite picture?
10:08 am
David LaChapelle Claims Pop-Art Throne
David LaChapelle Claims Pop-Art Throne
One Of The Most Sought-After Photographers Deemed Heir To Warhol

LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2007
David LaChapelle took this photo of Paris Hilton called "Paris Hilton with Popsicle" in 2004. (CBS)

(CBS) There’s an old saying that the camera never lies. But at the very least, in the hands of David LaChapelle, the camera certainly tells some wild stories — and that's exactly what he is going for.

"My pictures have always tried to tell stories," he told Sunday Morning correspondent Serena Altschul. "They always have a narrative and a story in my mind. There's a reason for it. So I've always felt like a storyteller."

Altschul recently visited LaChapelle's Los Angeles studio, where he was working in what looked liked the set of a Hollywood disaster film. That was no coincidence: LaChapelle says he tries to make images that look like frames plucked from a movie. He then leaves it up to viewers to decide just what kind of movie they're seeing — whether it be a comedy, drama, horror movie or even an adult film.

Considering his penchant for pushing the boundaries of taste, it may come as a surprise that LaChapelle is one of the world's most in-demand photographers and directors for advertising and publishing. His imprint is everywhere — from an MTV commercial that satirized stars Courtney Love and Madonna, to the music videos he directs for pop sensation Christina Aguilera. His touch can also be seen in the bright colors and surrealist humor of a Burger King ad. LaChapelle says he is proud to produce "pop art."

He shares that sentiment with his mentor, Andy Warhol — the definitive pop artist. In the mid-'80s, just out of high school and looking for work, LaChapelle brashly approached Warhol with his portfolio.

"I just remember showing him my photographs of my friends from high school and him saying, 'Oh, these are great. These are great,' LaChapelle said. "I didn't realize at the time that was a word he used a lot, you know? 'This cookie's great.' And, 'Oh, the shoes are great.' And he didn't mean it in a — he wasn't blasé. He really thought everything was great."

But Warhol made good on his praise, giving LaChapelle a job at "Interview" magazine. By the late 90’s, LaChapelle had become the "It" photographer of the pop pantheon. Every pose became more outrageous, and his subjects loved him for it. A LaChapelle photo was a badge of being hip – and brave. He specialized in sexy ingénues, and his "Vanity Fair" spread of Paris Hilton helped launch her career.

"I'm sure there are people who are shocked by his work, or remain uncomfortable by his work. It's loud and brassy and it's in-your-face," director of the International Center of Photography, Willis Hartshorn, said. "To have your portrait done by him is to collaborate with him. And it's very clear from the product that you see the kind of paces you're going to be put through ... If that's the way you want to be seen you'll get it. And it'll be extraordinary. There's no question."

 "I don't wanna reinvent people," LaChapelle said. "I wanna take the iconic pictures of them that say who they are. If there has to be one picture that they show in 20 years to describe the person, to narrate who they were and illustrate that, I'd like it to be one of my photos. That's the goal."

And it’s a goal he’s reached time and again. So much so, that as he approached 40 years-old, LaChapelle began moving beyond the gilded cage of celebrity portraiture. The result is his critically-acclaimed documentary "RIZE," which follows the lives of dancers in the poorest neighborhoods of South-Central Los Angeles. Their moves are so speedy, LaChapelle actually begins the film with this disclaimer which declares: "None of the images in this film were sped up."

"I had to put that in there, because their bodies are moving so fast, it actually looked like a film trick," he said. "The only effect in that film is the effect that those young artists, those kids have on your life."

"RIZE" revealed an unexpected side of LaChapelle, stripped of his trademark sets, lighting and celebrities. Instead of trying to create something, he said he allowed a slice of life to simply unfold.

"It took three years, and it revealed itself," he said. "I was just praying that it would get finished. I didn't want it to just be a bunch of tapes on a shelf. And I think I read somewhere that one out of a thousand documentary films ever makes it to a theater. And I'm glad I read that after I finished the movie."

Just last weekend, LaChapelle unveiled the next step of his development at New York's Tony Shafrazi gallery. Inspired by Michelangelo's "The Deluge" – a fresco in the Sistine Chapel – LaChapelle has created a series of flood-inspired photos. But don't worry; there is still plenty of pop left in this artist.

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