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David LaChapelle is headlining Ballarat International Foto Biennale

David LaChapelle is headlining Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Photograph: David LaChapelle
Michael Jackson in ‘American Jesus: Hold me, carry me boldly’, Hawaii, 2009 (image cropped)

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.

David LaChapelle 2013 Kings Dominion from the Land Scape series (c) David LaChapelle courtesy Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2017

 

'Kings Dominion' from the Land Scape series, 2013.
Photograph: David LaChapelle

 

 

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.

Find out more about the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, and buy tickets to the LaChapelle exhibition ($8-$18).

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