David LaChapelle is an artist whose journey is irrefutably unparalleled. But what is irrefutable artistry? For many, it is instant recognition of an unmatched aesthetic. For others, the notion anchors in a continual evolution of craft and practice, innovation. For all, though, it’s about ceaselessness—a dogged continuation of self-expression, however heroized, humbled, or hurt by the lived experience one might become.
In the years I’ve known LaChapelle, I’ve witnessed all of these attributes at once coalesce and conflict like the sort of super spring coils you see on certain carnival rides—unfathomably taught then stretched by glee and erraticism and childlike joy. It’s a trip. And the DLC trip of late has landed the artist yet again in the pages of FLAUNT, this time with a reinterpretation of Sandro Botticelli’s “The Three Graces.”
When asked about the attributes of the original “graces” in the Botticelli—agreed by scholars to be those of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, goodwill, and fertility—LaChapelle counters, “I was exploring the masculine version of this idea. I’ve always admired Botticelli’s ability to go from the mythological to the secular to the religious—his Graces are calm and serene as are all of his figures within his paintings. There is an energy coming out of my figure’s poses that are at once strong, vital, tough yet also graceful and sensitive. There is this feeling of reconciliation and love after a war or fight I was trying to illustrate.”
What is your favorite memory of the late 1990s?
I have no memory of that decade. I wish I could remember that decade but I don’t! I’ve read about it though.
Photographed by David La Chapelle.
Executive Producer: Bryn Owen.
Studio Producer: Ghretta Hynd.
Production Manager: Ethan Haug.
Stills: John Schoenfeld.
Retoucher: Glen Vergara.
Set Decorator: Justin Powell.
Scenic Painter: Thomas Hall.
Greens: Andrew Russell.
Greens Assist: Juan Morales.
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood.
Assist Costume Designer: Bryan Kopp.
Tailor: Christine Vlasak.
Assist Stylist: Vance Medeiros.
Assist Stylist for Graces: Frankie Benkovic.
Key Hair Stylist for Wind, Nymph, and Background: Larry McDaniel.
Makeup for Graces: David Hernandez.
Special FX Makeup for Wind and Background: Tyson Fountaine.
Spray Tan: Jimmy Coco.
Nails: Tracey Sutter.
PA: Joel Trevino and Diana Diaz.
Flower Designer: Oscar de La Cruz.
Models: Zaye Wiggins at DT Models, Gabriel Jayne and Carolina Marie at Wilhelmina Models, Bear and Polo Chevalier at Storm Models, Adelaide Gault, Cole Benedetti at Lemon Lime Models, Yura Puscasu and Noah Syrigos at Pretty Model Mgmt, Axel Jared at Envy Model Mgmt, Annika Dalland, Ava Pearlman at Supreme Management, Kevin Buschan at Professionally Pretty, and Bummy Boy.