David LaChapelle’s New Muse: Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian. Photo by Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock (9048930r)

After having posed in front of the lens of many big names in photography, Kim Kardashian West chose to entrust David LaChapelle with the visual communication of the new products of his makeup line, KKW. The celebrity/cosmetics magnate published images of this collaboration on Instagram, marked by the unique universe of the American artist.

With a very prolific career, inspired by surrealism, pop art, and hyperrealism, David LaChapelle has remained relatively quiet in recent years, except for the superb double cover of Travis Scott’s latest album, Astroworld. Returning to the front of the stage with images featuring Kim Kardashian is a continuation of a previous collaboration; he had immortalized the Kardashian family on their annual Christmas card in 2013.

Andy Warhol’s protégé has always been interested in pop culture personalities, having shot portraits of Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Lady Gaga, Kelis and Andre 3000, Uma Thurman, Hillary Clinton, Cameron Diaz, Coolio, or even Björk, among many others. Known for his kitsch and bling-bling delirious staging, and his retouching that smoothes the faces and increases the contrasts, LaChapelle delivers images on several levels of comprehension, multilayered imprints that at the same time are bearers of sadness and melancholy. He highlights the loneliness of his models and the often superficial nature of their lives. His work oscillates between criticism and praise of consumerism. His images of Kim Kardashian, commissioned to promote his new makeup products, are blurring this love/hate relationship.

Commercial and artistic, the images have received millions of likes, proving that after breaking the Internet with Jean-Paul Goude and the glorious channeling of Jackie Kennedy, Kim Kardashian West is a Queen of Communication who knows how to mix the contemporary art with self-promotion.