David LaChapelle's "Refineries" and "Gas Stations" photographs

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David LaChapelle

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The photo exhibition "LAND SCAPE," currently on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City through March 1, displays two series of works by photographer David LaChapelle: "Refineries" and "Gas Stations," which use a variety of media to depict the significance of petroleum in American culture.

"The sites depicted represent the globally networked industrial infrastructure of oil production and distribution," notes writer Shana Nys Dambrot in the exhibit catalog for LAND SCAPE.

"
Both bodies of work use handcrafted scale models, constructed of cardboard and a vast array of recycled materials from egg cartons to tea canisters, hair curlers, and other by-products of our petroleum-based, disposability-obsessed culture.”

The "Gas Station" series was shot on location in the rainforest of Maui, the Hawaiian island where LaChapelle lives, and the "Refineries" were photographed in the expansive deserts and along the coastline of California.

In the "Refineries" series, LaChapelle treats scenes as shrines to the product and the lifestyle it makes possible, drawing on an immense lexicon of art history references, current events and pop culture to make visually compelling images, each unique in its narrative and evocative content.

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