My main influences

Pierre et Gilles

main themes: pop culture, religion, modern deities, beauty, fine art

David LaChapelle

main themes: religion, human body, sex, celebrity

Umberto Boccioni

main themes: violence, technology, movement

Looking at my influences and then looking at my own work I have realised that I have quite a painterly approach to my work. I literally see photography as painting with light, using the light like a paintbrush. Whilst I pre-visualise my images like any other photographer, I always start with darkness, and then slowly built in light, for that reason I use a lot of strong ligt contrasting with darkness in my images. The only work where I haven’t done this is my Cosplay images, but even when asked to shoot at LAC I requested the use of a black, dark grey background, but they insisted I used white.

It’s also interesting to note the use of pop culture in Pierre et Gilles & Lachapelle’s work, although Western pop culture doesn’t interest me, Japanese pop culture does and not in the way you might assume, it’s not physical people but fictional characters, hello kitty, Naruto & Hatsune Miku arent real, yet they are each with millions and dominate Japanese pop culture. Japanese modern society is the only one which is dominated by femininity and women and in a world full of pressure and expectations “Kawaii Culture” alows people to escape into their childhood, I am currently reading a book “Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential” which discusses how teenage girls dominate popular culture and how they did it. This could be a root to go down as it is where I want my photography to spread into after Uni, but might have to be avoided due to not being able to go to Japan for research.

It seems that the subject area I am drawn to is pop culture, J-Culture in particular, and the technique I use is quite artistic and constructed, as meticulously planned as a painting.

David LaChapelle ‘Jesus is my home boy’

A video of the opening night of ‘Jesus is my homeboy’ in London (13/10/2008) made by Matt Robinson

What i found interesting about this video was finding out that in this shot

the tear which is a reference to the biblical story of Mary Magdalene but instead of washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, the tear on this womans face is seamen. This raises all sorts of questions, is it a reference to her prostitute past? is it about jesus’ apparent relationship with Mary Magdalene? LaChapelle leaves this to us to decode, he always says he isn’t trying to be controversial or shock anyone, maybe it’s because we live in such a sexualised culture this is how it might be in a modern day situation. A lot of people raise issues of sexuality in David LaChapelle’s work, in this case, Mary Magdalene has been depicted naked for a long time, it is meant to reference her sins, as LaChapelle is doing in this image by putting her in red underwear, the colour of the devil.

Maru Magdalene by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli painted in the 1500's and she is naked

David LaChapelle in Detail

David LaChapelle is an American photographer who got his big break given to him then the legendary Andy Warhol, who offered LaChapelle a job at Interview magazine.

From then on his career got stronger and stronger, being commisioned to shoot for magazines such as GQ and italian Vogue.

After this LaChappelle explored video as an art form, little did I know I have been a fan of LaChapelle’s work for a long time…

Christina Aguilera ‘Dirrty’ Produced by David LaChapelle

Blink 182 ‘Felling This’ Produced by David LaChapelle

Following this he decided to make a documetary about Krump dancing called ‘Rize’.

He has now moved back into more arty work, heres an interview explaining why.