DAVID LACHAPELLE: The Rape of Africa

DAVID LACHAPELLE: The Rape of Africa

Saturday, March 27, 2010Tuesday, May 25, 2010


London, United Kingdom

Press and Private View: Monday, 26 April, 6pm – 8.30pm
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 10am-6pm

ROBILANT + VOENA
1st Floor, 38 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4NL

The first London exhibition of David LaChapelle’s extraordinary tableaux The Rape of Africa will take place at ROBILANT+VOENA next month. The gallery is pleased to be continuing its association with the artist started in 2008 to bring this exciting and unique work to London audiences.

Having consolidated his illustrious career in fashion photography, video and editorial, over the past few years LaChapelle has focused solely on his interest in fine art, producing acclaimed series such as Deluge and Jesus is My Homeboy (shown at R+V in 2008). The Rape of Africa continues his thinly veiled critique of western consumerism by making apparent its effects on the African continent through references to conquest and plunder, child soldiers, unethical gold and diamond mining, and the commodification of African beauty. Drawing on Sandro Botticelli’s iconic Venus and Mars (housed at the National Gallery, London) for inspiration, LaChapelle subverts an apparently glitzy, bold and glamorous image to give us a very disturbing reality. As Colin Wiggins of the National Gallery puts it: ‘it is through his brilliant use of beauty and fantasy that David LaChapelle somehow and irresistibly arrives at the truth. The ugly truth’.

The Rape of Africa will be exhibited alongside other important works inspired variously by models from art history to contemporary celebrity, as well as preparatory drawings for the main work, demonstrating the complexity of the artist’s process.

David LaChapelle’s work is exhibited in museums worldwide, most recently LACMA Los Angeles, MOCA Taipei, Brooklyn Museum New York and forthcoming at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The catalogue Fantasy and Truth written by Colin Wiggins, The National Gallery about The Rape of Africa, will be available at R+V.

David LaChapelle’s work is exhibited in museums worldwide, most recently LACMA Los Angeles, MOCA Taipei, Brooklyn Museum New York and forthcoming at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The catalogue Fantasy and Truth written by Colin Wiggins, The National Gallery about The Rape of Africa, will be available at R+V.

For further information please contact Mira Dimitrova via mira@dirobilant.com or 0207 409 1540. David LaChapelle will be available for interviews upon request.