David LaChapelle - Photographs New York Thursday, October 7, 2021 | Phillips
  • "LaChapelle not only possesses a highly distinctive signature and a breathtaking technique, but he also has something to say. Anyone who categorizes him as a man who photographs celebrities is selling him short . . . "
    —Andreas Blühm and Anna-Rosja Haveman

    Seismic Shift, 2012 is a supersized who’s who of the contemporary art world as filtered through the sensationalized lens of David LaChapelle. Throughout his career, LaChapelle’s photographs have used a very distinctive visual language of fashion and advertising to address significant themes from religion and politics, to feminism and consumerism. His commentary is both piercing and tantalizing. 

    In Seismic Shift, the photographer and his team recreated icons of contemporary art which were then photographed within the confines of a partially collapsed museum, modeled after the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Los Angeles. Many of the recreated works, including Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog and Damien Hirst’s spot paintings, reference artists the Broads have collected in depth while others, like the self-referential Deluge: Museum and Andreas Gursky’s department store, become a more direct commentary on the museum space transforming from one of reverence, to one of commerce.


    Blühm and Havemon continue, “. . . He holds up a mirror to celebrities, but also to us as self-appointed art lovers. And that mirror reveals more than just the attractive sides of fame and wealth.”


    With Richard Prince’s Nurse of Greenmeadow, partially visible and submerged on the left edge, selling at auction in 2014 for $8,565,000 and another Koons inflatable selling in 2019 for $91,075,000, the highest price for any work by a living artist, the relevancy of the image and its reflection on the evolution of the art market has never been greater.

    • Provenance

      Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York


Seismic Shift

Chromogenic print.
35 x 86 1/2 in. (88.9 x 219.7 cm)
Overall 38 3/4 x 90 1/2 in. (98.4 x 229.9 cm)

Signed on a studio label accompanying the work. Number 1 from an edition of 5.

Full Cataloguing

$35,000 - 45,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department
+1 212 940 1225


Vanessa Hallett
Deputy Chairwoman, Americas and Worldwide Head of Photographs
+1 212 940 1243


New York Auction 7 October 2021