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David LaChapelle Addresses Retirement in New Interview: 'I Was Tortured by Pop Stars'

Photographer David LaChapelle – whose outlandish “hyper-real” style has become distinctive around the world – has admitted in a new interview some of the struggles he has faced throughout his career, including the pressure he applied on himself to remain relevant.

LaChapelle was speaking to The Guardian in an article published earlier this week, surrounding the release of two new books that he insists will be his last.

Speaking of actively working in the industry, he described the experience as a “paradoxical place” to be, touching on the notion that fashion magazines often insinuate happiness stems from one's next purchase, or “the new season of merchandise.” He goes on to say that by the time he quit celebrity portraits, he never wanted to photograph another pop star again — even going as far as to say he was “tortured” by them: “For a long time, I worked non-stop. I had to always have three magazine covers, a music video in the Top 10 of [MTV chart show] TRL, one of the Vogues happening or I’d be forgotten and irrelevant.”

Before retiring from the celebrity circuit 11 years ago, LaChapelle notably raised the bar for editorial shoots with the high-end, over-the-top production in his photographs, often featuring elaborate sets and extravagant props.

LaChapelle goes on to talk about his former mentor Andy Warhol, the “phoniness” of industry folk and fending off accusations his glorification of celebrities “brought culture down.” You can read the full piece at The Guardian’s website.

Photo by Alexander Dummer.

[via The Guardian]

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1 Comment

Daniel Shortt's picture

whole interview is worth a read.