Ballarat International Foto Biennale (August 19-September 17) – Australia’s largest international photography festival – has announced its headliner for 2017: iconoclastic American photographer and director David LaChapelle.
In a coup for incoming festival director Fiona Sweet, the Biennale will present the first LaChapelle solo exhibition in Australia, featuring around 90 of his artworks at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. And yes, the artist will be present.
LaChapelle is best known for his editorial and fashion work, shooting for Interview, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair – and collecting a who’s-who list of American celebrities over the years, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Britney, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson…
LaChapelle in fact started in fine art photography, studying at North Carolina School of the Arts and coming up through New York’s 1980s art scene alongside Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
After suddenly moving to Hawaii in 2006, he took up fine art photography again – so you can expect recent personal projects to feature in the Ballarat exhibition, including his 2013 series Land Scape, where he shot colour saturated hyperreal photos of model oil refineries made from garbage.