Art News: David LaChapelle ‘Celebrity Gleam’ & The Art of Damien Costilla at Verlaine

6 Dec


David LaChappelle’s ‘Celebrity Gleam‘ is currently showing at Galerie Thomas Modern in Berlin through February 19, 2011 as part of their Popular Brand • Symbols • Icons 1960-2010 exhibition.

1960: The society is changing. Contraceptive pill, Coca-Cola and pop music embody the spirit of those years.

The artists of this decade attacked the rebellious mood of the sixties in bright, garish images. Their sources of inspiration weere trademarks, symbols and icons, and their representation is provocative. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselmann connect the bold and the banal to a critical view of the social changes, especially the consumer and media world.

Artists like Sylvie Fleury, Takashi Murakami, David LaChapelle, Tom Sachs and Alexander Kosolapov also provide central themes that are trivial and banal, which brings insight into our lives, our environment and our consumption patterns. Trademarks, symbols and icons play an important role, just like in the sixties.


California born Damien Costilla who lives in Chelsea, NY borrows from the 80′s art scene, graffiti, mythological and religious symbols and the Mayan Calendar mixed together with sex, violence and music in spasms of colors and vivid strokes. His dense, elaborate paintings explore his Mexican heritage and contemporary homosexual mores in the light of pop culture and art history.

Costilla’s drawings and paintings explore the issues of  social and self destruction.

The nature of the primitive and the rawness of the vision intensifies Damian’s meaning of life and love lived in misery.

Despite reluctance for success and lack of public collection, Damian’s large and forceful oeuvre had ensured his continuing reputation as one of New York’s most distinctive and eloquent artist on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Opening reception for “The Art of Damien Costilla” is December 7, 2010 from 7-9PM at Verlaine in NYC. The show runs through January 14, 2011.

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