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Retrospective of David LaChapelle

By Jeanne Suica

What do you get when you take a historic museum in Paris (which most of us appreciate) throw in a bit of Paris Hilton, Uma Thurman and Little Kim (which some of us love to hate all for various reasons, you can call me catty…) and pipe in a bit of Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (which some of us may like personally I love him!)? An entree into the surreal world of David LaChapelle.

LaChapelle’s larger than life expo provides a sharp and perhaps shocking contrast in the main entrance of the historic Musee de la Monnie. The works are centered around many themes such as excess, the drive for affluence produced by capitalistic cultures, destruction and disaster, deluge and for good measure a bit of Jesus Christ.

For perhaps a balance, part of the expo is titled the Awakened Room which features seven figures floating in the air providing a stark contrast to the other vivid works. Also a flash from the past in the Recollections in American featuring vintage photos from the 70s recreated à la LaChapelle style. As you continue through the small rooms you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces with large “in your face” portraits of Alexander McQueen, Uma Thurman, Madonna and Lil Kim who is curiously covered in the logo print of Louis Vuitton. Well maybe they made an exception for David, I’m sure that a lot of you have heard about how strict they are with their trademarks.

While LaChapelle’s work is not understood by everyone it is a treat to see. His use of themes, celebrities and tongue in cheek themes are a great way to brighten up a gray March day. Maybe you will be reminded of why you decided to live in Paris and leave the chaotic energy of so many American cities, the flooded newsstands with magazine plastered with celebrities and the world of fast food fast cars and fast girls but then again if you are feeling a bit homesick this expo along the Seine just might be a way to cure those winter blues.

February 6-May 31

Musee de la Monnie
11 Quai de Conti 6th
Tel 01 40 46 56 66

Please note that the exposition has hours that are a bit different than what are listed on the main site of the museum:

10:30am-7:30pm every day, late night Monday and Friday until 10pm (Note that the box office closes at 6:30pm on Mondays and 9:30pm on Fridays).

Normal tarif 10 euros.

Exposition catalog 55 euros.
There is also a great selection of postcards and other items pertaining to this expo.

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