Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Art
Cars and Money
December 1, 2009 - February 13, 2010
In his new series of work The Crash, renowned photographer David LaChapelle provokes us to take a deeper look into the obsession with materialistic acquisition that has driven contemporary Western Society.
In a time of radical economic transformation, we are forced to reevaluate the true definition of “luxury” and the objects that embody this characteristic.
The titles of each of the five works in the series are derived directly from automobile advertising. With phrases such as, Intelligent Decadence and Luxurious Power, the artist succinctly defines the perceived value that has been placed on these machines.
These cars, which consume exorbitant amounts of energy, finance and desire, are pointedly responsible for a depletion of these very resources, which are presently at a breaking point.
The destruction of luxury status symbols reminds us of the fleeting nature of such acquisitions, and illustrate that we have reached a turning point in our conspicuous consumption.
In the series Negative Currency LaChapelle revives a developing process with which he previously experimented in 1990.
By using the enlarger in the darkroom, LaChapelle used dollar bills in the place of a negative and the resulting effect was a pink print that shows both sides of the currency at once. By rendering the image of the physical currency as a virtual negative, he makes a direct correlation to the recent economic collapse being based on false commodities and misrepresented capital.
As with his The Crash series, LaChapelle forces us to examine the true “value” of capital. Not only the title, but also the photographic process he revived is a playful exploration of negativity as a theme.
Ever the social commentator, the artist uses the creative process to deliver visually stunning results and to enable the viewer to delve deeper into politically and socio-economically relevant issues. These elements, combined with humor and irony, are a perfect extension of themes that LaChapelle explored in his series, Jesus is My Homeboy, which was exhibited at Wolfgang Roth & Partners, Fine Art during Art Basel Miami Beach, 2008.
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