David LaChapelle in Rome: spirituality and faith of the American artist


Camilla, there is David LaChapelle in Rome!

“Camilla, there is David LaChapelle in Rome!”, is this premise nice enough to make you understand my emotion when I found out that one of my favorite artists/photographers would have been a few hours ride from me?

But let’s start from the beginning… I discovered LaChapelle before I even started high school, when the seed of design had not yet sprouted in me but I already had a solid bond with creativity and aesthetic sense. I approached photography thanks to artists like Steve McCurry, Franco Fontana, Maurizio Galimberti and LaChapelle himself. I absolutely wanted to see him live!

The occasion to see him was the annual RUFA’s contest, the event in which the best students of the University are awarded. The ceremony was held at the Teatro Brancaccio in Rome with Sky Arte HD, Olivetti, MTV, Rai Cinema, Fly Emirates and Roma Europa Festival as partners.

By my side, as usual, Primerent, by now a loyal partner in my movements in the city that host major events. Among its large fleet, Primerent has given me the Maserati Ghibli, the new luxury sedan of the Italian brand, and the Range Rover Sport suv to get around the capital in total comfort.

From those who have worked with the most important publishing companies in the world and with hundreds of Hollywood stars and celebrities, one would have expected a bit of arrogance. Actually, except for the slight delay with which he first crossed the stage at the opening, LaChapelle immediately caught the eye of our spectators making his entrance right from the parterre.

I found this silence in the solitude of Nature

Beautiful the ethical and professional message that LaChapelle launched to the students and to the whole audience: “don’t let yourself be exploited by modernity”. His words were interspersed with a very suggestive video in which his most famous works were told. One of the hottest and most intimate themes that the photographer dealt with was that of spirituality and faith. Both of these aspects were fundamental for the caliber of his work and his personal training. It is at the end of the 1970s that David LaChapelle approaches for the first time the concept of spirituality, driven by death due to the aids of many of his friends.

LaChapelle said that spirituality is in each of us, we just have to free ourselves from the slavery of the ordinary to find the voice of the Divine we have in our hearts. “I found this silence in the solitude of Nature”, said the photographer.

Seek the way to the Divine and show it to all

To decline a theme like the Divine Aesthetics, perhaps there could not have been a better guest. “Seek the way to the Divine and show it to all”, these are perhaps the strongest and most evocative words that struck me most. As creatives we must have a sense of responsibility for the Divine towards the whole world.

Do you know David LaChapelle? Do you have a favorite work? Do you too, like me, often reflect on the concepts of spirituality and faith? I hope this article has left you a positive message, not only about the artist LaChapelle but also about the sense of beauty that should move every creative mind. Questions, curiosities? Write a comment!

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