david la chapelle, fotografiska, stockholm
David LaChapelle: “Burning Beauty” at Fotografiska


StockholmFotografiska ja David LaChapelle. Finally two weeks ago I was heading to Stockholm with my dear friend Terhi and her lovely daughter Iris.


Mapplethorpe at Fotografiska, autumn 2011

I visited Fotografiska for the first time in 2011 to see an exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe. I find Mapplethorpe and his photos meaningful to me. He was the first photographer who’s images and lighting styles I began to examine. Through that I became interested in light and lighting. When i saw his photos, I realized for the first time that there are much more lighting styles than basic 45-degree lighting with soft light 🙂


David LaChapelle at Fotografiska, spring 2013

Before I saw David LaChapelle‘s exhibition I consider him as a famous celebrity and commercial photographer who also makes music videos. Almost all celebrities have been posing for him –most of them very unusual manner.

For me exhibition was just “wow”. It was the most largest exhibition ever organized in Fotografiska. There were three floors full of photos. My opinion of LaChapelle’s style, themes and expression expanded a lot. There were his early works, artistic photos and photos which criticize among others consuming culture. There were themes from art history, religion and nature. I especially enjoyed the making of -videos which demonstrate how some of the photos were made. I was surprised how much his photos were influenced by art history and religion.

Even though I’m not a big LaChapelle’s fan I’ve always liked his way of using COLORS. I think he uses colors in magnificent way: combining many different colors, bright colors and pastels.


See the photos through child’s eyes

Probably the funniest thing was to visit the exhibition with a child. Iris kept up all the way to the third floor. There she just said -“let’s go”. Before that she stopped in front of the photos, stared them and kept on asking questions: Why he lost his glove? Why he has a flower in his mouth? Why he’s red? Why he’s screaming? With Iris I had to stop in front of the photos too. Especially when she continued: “Explain that.” What else you can do than begin to consider glove’s mysterious lost, flower’s bizarre spot of the meaning of bright color.

Tiina, Iris and Terhi at Fotografiska


And then those other good reasons:

1. Bistro: view, interior and food – what a combination
We arrived in Fotografiska just about the lunch time, so we headed straight to the third floor and bistro. I just love the low key feeling of it and the food is excellent. And the view – you just enjoy the view over the bay and the city.

2. Service
Maybe because this time I travelled with a child I noticed the service in a different way. Staff was great with kids. When we bought the tickets, lady just informed us letting a child walk on her own. She doesn’t have to stay in a stroller the whole time – probably she doesn’t even want to. And no angry looks anywhere.

3. Atmosphere and exhibitions
I find the whole building beautiful, bistro cozy and exhibitions professionally organized. Most of all I enjoy the idea of that I can visit world famous photographers exhibitions just by travelling to Stockholm. Not further.
I would visit the city anyway, just love it, and Fotografiska just makes it even more attractive. Annie Leibowitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Albert Watson, David LaChapelle –they all have influenced history of photography and shot amazing, timeless images.
And guess who’s exhibition is next
Henri Cartier-Bresson. Can’t beat that list of exhibitions in Scandinavia.


Next Henri Cartier-Bresson

So, next exhibition is really Henri Cartier-Bresson at Fotografiska 9.3. – 26.5.2013.
I think I’ve seen the exhibition already few years ago in MoMa, but I don’t think it prevents me travelling to Stockholm once again…