FIELDS OF GOLD

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Photography - Sofia Gron­bech Wright

David LaChapelle was 17 when Andy Warhol hired him as a pho­tog­ra­pher for a mag­a­zine shoot. “Do what­ever you want,” Warhol re­port­edly said, “just make sure ev­ery­body looks good.” LaChapelle, whose work is de­scribed as sur­re­al­ist pop kitsch, has never strayed from Warhol’s ad­vice. The Amer­i­can snap­per will hold his first solo ex­hi­bi­tion in Aus­tralia this month as part of the Bal­larat In­ter­na­tional Foto Bi­en­nale.

More than 60 of LaChapelle’s works, which of­fer vi­brant cri­tiques of con­sumerism, will form the cen­tre­piece of the event.

Now in its 12th year, the bi­en­nale pro­vides a plat­form for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional pho­tog­ra­phers to dis­play their works at hun­dreds of ex­hi­bi­tions through­out the Vic­to­rian gold rush town.

Cu­ra­tor Jes­sica Clark’s ex­hi­bi­tion Tell fea­tures the cut­ting-edge work of indige­nous pho­tog­ra­phers, with 17 new com­mis­sions on show. Fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy comes un­der the mi­cro­scope in Reverie Rev­elry, which ex­plores the in­ter­sec­tion be­tween glam­our and ev­ery­day life. Cu­rated by Michelle Moun­tain, it re­flects on prom­i­nent Aus­tralian fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Bruno Benini, whose work is fea­tured along­side that of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists.

The bi­en­nale runs from Au­gust 19 un­til Septem­ber 17 in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Bal­larat.

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