Pity the celebrity photographer who must battle ego and will to seduce his subject into doing something never before seen while remaining easily recognizable. It’s a mighty envelope to push, but David LaChapelle, who made his reputation shooting stars for Interview and other glossies, does it enthusiastically and with humor in LaChapelle Land. Whether it’s a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane MTV parody with Courtney Love and Madonna look-alikes or Tom Arnold dressed in a chicken costume, the visual wit of LaChapelle’s images is infectious. Less successful are shots like the one of a model bound from forehead to ankles in what looks like duct tape. But when LaChapelle stays away from literal and figurative blow-up dolls and focuses on personalities, his subjects — and images — come to life. B+

LaChapelle Land
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