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David LaChapelle: In Earth Laughs In Flowers

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In Earth Laughs In Flowers David LaChapelle appropriates the traditional Baroque still life painting in order to explore contemporary vanity, vice, the transience of earthly possessions and, ultimately, the fragility of humanity. Expectations of the still life are satisfied through the inclusion of symbolic objects such as fruit, flowers and skulls, but also upended by the insertion of everyday items such as cell phones, cigarette butts, balloons, Barbies, and a Starbuck’s iced coffee cup. This last effect is exacerbated by a tortuous disorderliness overwhelming the composition. The resulting photographs achieve a painterly, almost sculptural quality, thereby challenging the traditions of painting.

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