Robb Report Singapore

David LaChapelle’s After the Deluge: Statue

An artwork of epic proportion­s by iconoclast David LaChapelle – Andrew Leci approves.


2019 HAS BEEN quite a year for the art world, and not solely for the reason that it marked the 500th anniversar­y of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. Almost an entire year of events culminated in an exhibition of Leonardo’s works at the Louvre in Paris in October.

Da Vinci’s works rarely come up for sale, so if you’re thinking of acquiring one to pass on as a gift for a (much) loved one – we’re talking seriously high levels of affection here I think – good luck. Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) by Da Vinci remains as the world’s most expensive work of art, sold at auction by Christie’s in 2017 for US$450 million, so if anything is up for grabs, an instalment plan might be advisable.

Much more manageable would be a work that I had the privilege to view this year and is not only available for purchase, but affordable. David LaChapelle’s After the Deluge: Statue, is not the most beautiful piece I have clapped eyes on, but it’s proved to be the most fascinatin­g. If it were a book, it would be one that couldn’t be put down. As a work of art – despite the fact that it is a photograph, which might annoy the purists – it’s as compelling an image as I have beheld in 2019.

Quite simply, there is so much to look at, so much to think about and so many possible interpreta­tions of the work itself and what it is trying to convey, that you could stand and look at it for hours, and then sit for a few more when your legs get tired. I would be prepared to redesign my house to make wall space for such an acquisitio­n, and there may be a happy reader out there who will find it in their Christmas stocking. It will need to be a capacious one.

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