Candy-cane smokestacks, glittery oil wells, Kool-Aid sludge. These are the sugar-coated, artificial impressions in David LaChapelle’s latest solo show, LAND SCAPE, at Paul Kasmin gallery. The sites in the photographs — oil refineries and gas stations — are scale models, made out of cardboard, egg cartons, hair curlers, and other recycled materials. Shown as shining, color-saturated, cartoon-like places, they are thus reduced, sweetened, and otherwise stripped of their negative, inconvenient connotations — in order to shed light on those very connotations. The backgrounds — the coastlines of California and the jungles of Maui — are photographed realistically.
David LaChapelle, LAND SCAPE, January 17 – March 1, 2014,
Paul Kasmin, 293 Tenth Ave, NYC. USA.