David LaChapelle: ‘I never wanted to shoot another pop star – I was tortured by them’

By Nosheen Iqbal

His lurid aesthetic shaped the celebrity age, but 11 years ago LaChapelle escaped to a farm in Hawaii. He talks about his journey from 14-year-old gay runaway in Warhol's New York to enlightened ‘Grandpa Moses of photography'

The evening before we are due to meet, David LaChapelle spends several hours meeting fans and signing books in Berlin. The queue snakes outside his publisher Taschen's bookshop and down the street. One woman, a middle-aged artist, bares her breasts for a photo with him. Another gets her wrist signed and returns later to show she got it tattooed. The next afternoon, LaChapelle, no stranger to daft behaviour, can only shrug, touched but baffled. He wasn't sure there would be interest in this comeback; his two new anthologies are going to be his final books. This is it, he promises. An edit of unseen photos from his 30-year career as one of the most striking and controversial chroniclers of pop culture.

“For a long time, I worked non-stop,” he says. “I had to always have three magazine covers, a music video in the Top 10 of [MTV chart show] TRL, one of the Vogues happening or I'd be forgotten and irrelevant.”

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Source: David LaChapelle: ‘I never wanted to shoot another pop star – I was tortured by them’