Monday 14 June 2010

DAVID LACHAPELLE: The Rape of Africa

Many weeks ago back at the beginning of May, I attended several press days in the West London area and - after reading about it in the Evening Standard the day before - I popped into the Robilant and Voena Gallery on Dover Street. Whilst this was a new gallery for me, I was more interested in the mini David Lachapelle exhibition being held there to think about much else.

Image courtesy of Robilant and Voena
Temporarily moving away from his instantly recongisable airbrushed iconographic images of pop culture legends, The Rape of Africa reveals Lachapelle's increasingly political and confrontational recording of western consumerism and its effects on the African continent. Filled with references of conquest, plunder and child soldiers to unethical gold, diamond mining, and the commodification of African beauty, Lachapelle explores these deeper themes in both his main work (pictured above) and also the many preparatory drawings and collages displayed.

Having extended the exhibition due to popular demand, The Rape of Africa is now showing until 23 June. This is a must-see for any Lachapelle fan wondering what this former Studio54 kid's next move will be.

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