Auguries of Innocence
September 12 - November 1, 2008

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Press Release

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Auguries of Innocence
September 12 - November 1, 2008


The Tony Shafrazi Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by David LaChapelle entitled Auguries of Innocence.

Over the last twenty-five years, LaChapelle has created some of the most dynamic, powerful, original, and imaginative images of celebrity portraiture and expressive scenes reflecting, exposing, and commenting on the "cult" of personality, perversity of popular culture, Hollywood stardom, and the tabloids of vanity and gluttony. More recently he has stretched the boundaries of photography by moving to more historic, visionary "scenes" and recreations of the human condition as in "Deluge" and "Awakenings" (inspired by the Book of Genesis' account of the Great Flood), which tackled the subjects of the human family amidst catastrophe and loss in search of salvation and divinity.

LaChapelle's new work breaks unprecedented ground by utilizing both industrial and advanced modes of fabrication and presentation, as in children's "pop-ups," and the more industrial "Point of Purchase" (P.O.P.) to create epic three-dimensional tableaus, which shift the focus of the photograph from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional, jumpstarting our active participation and experience in the dynamic collision of image and form, form and content.

With the title "Auguries of Innocence," LaChapelle readdresses William Blake's message of auguries--or warnings--of the catastrophe of war, the cultivated stylization of religion, innocence, and purity.

To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour,

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state. . .

-William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

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