By: Armando de la Garza

To welcome and anticipate a little (but only a little) LGBT pride month, I went to see the exhibition “LOVE” by David LaChapelle that just opened at the Minería Palace, here, in the historic center of the city. CDMX.

But before arriving, and to get into the mood, I went to my friend’s studio to see the latest what she is working on. Located at 100 Victoria Street, also in the center of the city, just a few blocks from my final destination. As always, I found some magnificent pieces where the magic and poetics of “theatrical” fashion are evident, extravagant pieces of a surreal narrative that celebrates the beauty of Antique and the wide spectrum of gender identities and expressions….and as it says her: “Nothing matters here, and if you are going to go back to the closet, let it be only to take a piece of clothing that speaks for itself.”

After many feathers, sequins, fabrics and escaroles (which, no matter how hard I tried, they didn’t look good on me) María and I left, who joined me in the plan towards the photographic exhibition of this “controversial” artist. We walked towards Juárez Ave. passing by the side of the Palace of Fine Arts and, also eager to see the Damián Ortega exhibition that this venue exhibits (I’ll be back), we continued to Tacuba Street to enter the museum and finally being able to see the little more than 100 works that make up the exhibition.

But before starting the tour, I cannot overlook the beauty and value of the building that houses this exhibition, the Mining Palace, one of the neoclassical architectural jewels of this city, built by the Venetian architect and sculptor Manuel Tolsá, between 1797 and 1813, to house the first mining school. It is part of the area of ​​architectural monuments of the Historic Center of Mexico City, declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.

And now, as expected, in “Amor”, all the ingredients that have formed his (LaChapelle’s) style are together. Passion, religion, sex, plastic, color, stridency, theater, scandal and more plastic; common threads that we can find in the photographs of the different series from their different periods. In this selection, you will find pieces created between 1985, until today.

The work that I liked the most and, I think not for the right reasons, is “seismic Shift” (2012), a piece that imagines what a room in the Broad Museum in Los Angeles would be like after an earthquake. The image shows a room in destruction where pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Yue Minjun, among others, fall destroyed among fake Louis Vuitton bags that also float in the water.

For me, a metaphor for the place where (perhaps) all these “masterpieces” should be, and a harbinger of the explosion of the bubble that all these “artists” and the art machinery that revolves around them have created. . Sarcasm? Black humor? Or perhaps a tribute. But as always in art, the viewer will have the last word.

If it’s not for one thing, it’s for the other…but turn around.


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