TIO NYC: David LaChapelle at Fotografiska & Paul Taylor at Lincoln Center!

TIO NYC: David LaChapelle at Fotografiska & Paul Taylor at Lincoln Center!

And the beat goes on. On Sunday, the day of the New York marathon, we visited Fotografiska, where the photography museum is hosting its very first one-man show, David LaChapelle: make BELIEVE. On Election Day we avoided the news, and watched the Paul Taylor Dance Company kick up its heels at Lincoln Center.

Go here for more on the action in New York.

Fotgrafiska Museum, 281 Park Avenue South.

Fotografiska, David LaChapelle, make BELIEVE, though January 8:

David-LaChapelle, “Behold’ (2015,, Hawaii), courtesy, Fotografiska New York




In New York in the ’80s, he was an acolyte of Andy Warhol and a workaholic best known for his hyperreal, hyper-saturated, theatrical, surrealistic portraits of the rich and famous. Back when, a David LaChapelle photo confirmed your status as a cultural icon.

The world-renowned photographer once depicted a turbaned Elizabeth Taylor looking like a $5 fortune-teller; Courtney Love as the Virgin Mary; Lady Gaga wearing nothing but headlines; a Michael Jackson impersonator as a misunderstood martyr; Angelina Jolie in various states of undress; and so on, including 19 Rolling Stone covers.

Then the artist experienced some kind of spiritual awakening. He shunned the limelight and retreated to Hawaii where he started his life over as a deeply spiritual version of himself.

But what goes around…

With his one-man retrospective at Fotografiska New York LaChapelle has returned to town in grand style. His show, make BELIEVE, marks the very first time the venue has been taken over by the work of a single artist.

Spanning the whole of LaChapelle’s illustrious career, 1984 – 2022, make BELIEVE consists of over 150 works. Among its holdings are the last portraits ever taken of Warhol; LaChapelle’s 2006 Rolling Stone cover of Kanye West as Jesus Christ; the photographer’s documentation of the 1980s AIDs crisis; and images of his celebrity and queer community tricked out as saints, martyrs and angels. Also included are luxurious dreamscapes of bodies stacked and merged in formations that crib from works created at the height of Renaissance art.

Read this beautifully illustrated review from CNN style:

For photographer David LaChapelle, signs are pointing to the end of days — the Thwaites Glacier, or “doomsday glacier,” is barely hanging on; raging fire seasons have brutalized the Amazon; and critical changes in jet streams are causing extreme weather conditions worldwide, he said in a phone call.

In Maui, where LaChapelle retreated to in 2006 to go off the grid and recalibrate his life, drought has sapped the emerald-green island of its color in many areas, he added.

The acclaimed artist and director’s practice is deeply rooted in his Christian faith, and he recently became transfixed on a particular Bible passage describing the finality of the world — how men will be “lovers of self” during “terrible times in the last days.” Around him, LaChapelle saw that notion reflected in the ubiquitous selfie, with the camera turned inward out of conceit rather than introspection. He saw performance everywhere from people he passed by, and then a sense of sadness when the camera dropped…

Continue reading here.

Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center (though November 13):

Founder and choreographer Paul Taylor died in 2018, but his legacy of strong, subtle, liquid bodies lives on. They were on full display in the program we saw on Election Day, dancers embodying joy with jaw-dropping virtuosity.

First up was “Company B,” a Paul Taylor classic.

According to the company website:

“Just as America began to emerge from the Depression at the dawn of the 1940s, the country was drawn into the Second World War. In a seminal piece of Americana, Paul Taylor recalls that turbulent era through the hit songs of the Andrews Sisters. Although the songs depict a nation surging with high spirits, millions of men were bidding farewell to wives or girlfriends and many would never return from battle. The dance focuses on such poignant dualities. Young lovers lindy, jitterbug and polka in a near manic grasp for happiness while in the background shadowy figures – soldiers – fall dead. Among the sections of the dance, the one choreographed to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)” is carefree until the moment the bugler is shot; the one set to “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” tells of a young lady’s affections for a soldier an ocean away who, for his part, reaches out to a comrade in arms. The dance ends just as it began, with “Bei Mir Bist du Schön” – but the world has clearly changed.”

“Evokes the exuberant rhythms of the ’40’s as well as the grim and persistent shadow of war. But even more vividly, it honors Taylor’s magnificent dancers. Some of the most glorious dancing to be seen anywhere…” said Newsweek.

The world premiere of Larry Keigwin’s Rush Hour dates back to 2016. The number mixes opposite-sex and same-sex combinations, groups and individuals, interior and exterior spaces. The dance was engaging, though overall not as exciting as Company B.

A musical interlude featured Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, world-renowned for its integration of jazz rhythms with classical music and big band sounds. The work is widely regarded as one of the most important American musical pieces of the 20th century with good reason. Pianist Conrad Tao gave a bravura rendering of the beloved piece.

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