DAVID LACHAPELLE "DIESEL JEANS" 1994
David LaChapelle hasn't gotten his due as one of the most inventive and radical (fashion) photographers of the 1990's.
LaChapelle (b. 1964) ushered in a new era of fashion photography that seemed to predict or invite the aesthetic that defined the internet age; gay pride, outrageousness, and his version of celebrity-obsessed hyper-color surrealism.
This image, in uncharacteristic black and white, was created for Diesel Jeans. The two sailors kissing were in fact real-life couple Bob Paris and Rod Jackson. Bob was possibly the first professional athlete, in any sport, to publicly come out while still an active competitor in his field. During the 90's the two men were an "it" couple because of their muscles, good looks and advocacy.
Many of LaChapelle's best works take an element of Americana, and inflate or destabilize it with drama, kitsch or unapologetic sexuality. In this image, LaChapelle is referencing "V-J Day in Times Square" by Alfred Eisenstaedt, but realizing it in an exuberant style uniquely his own.
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"Diesel Jeans, Victory Day 1945, San Francisco"
Cibachrome print, 1994
Signed,titled and numbered by the artist verso
From an edition of 30
16.5"H 22.5"W (work)
Literature: LaChapelle Land: Photographs by David LaChapelle, Simon & Schuster, 1996, illus. pp. 8-9.
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