Reactor

The End of Days Comes with Kardashians’ David LaChapelle Khristmas Kard

by Hrag Vartanian on December 2, 2013

David LaChapelle's "A Page of Revelations" (2013) (via http://www.davidlachapelle.com/series/a-page-of-revelations/ ) (click to enlarge)

David LaChapelle’s “A Page of Revelations” (2013), aka the Kardashian Christmas card (via davidlachapelle.com) (click to enlarge)

I’m celebrity’d out, but the world of celebrity — particularly of the Hollywood variety — seems increasingly desperate for art world credibility, while their art world accomplices seem eager for popular attention and the kudos (not to mention the bucks) that accompany that jaunt into the mainstream. So, this latest addition to that marriage of art and celebrity has been delivered to us in the form of the Kardashian Christmas card — not holiday card, mind you — as shot by David LaChapelle.

I can’t think of a better pairing of artistic sensibilities. LaChapelle’s kitsch-infused imagery seems perfectly suited to the Kardashians and their over- the-top antics. Titled “A Page of Revelations” on LaChapelle’s website, the whole scene reads as panoramic version of a romance novel cover.

While the image is somewhat grainy in its current online iteration, it’s clear that the Kardashians like gold and money, and exemplify the stereotype of the American dream (read: fame, money, attention, attention, and #attention —  the word “fame” is tagged around the image at least four times), all with a dash of Book of Revelation and its inherent end of days strangeness.

The composition focuses on a golden door that reveals three male mannequins, a bonfire of sorts, and golden rays of sunshine against a beautiful sky. Motherhood, or perhaps the birth of Jesus Christ more specifically, is exemplified by the woman breast-feeding to the left, and there are pyramids all about (is someone sensing an African theme?). I’m not sure if that refuse on the floor to the left is hay-like (they are magazines, actually) and a possible reference to a manger, but let’s throw that in as a possibility. The most interesting aspect of the image is the top, where lines of neon cluster around the central passage. LaChapelle, it should be noted, has chosen a rather academic palette, with its emphasis on the primary colors and contrasts, not to mention the feel of traditional history painting.

Oh, look … Kanye is donning his Chris complex for the photo!

Look…Kanye is donning his Christ complex for the photo!

As Jezebel noted about the card, the following people are NOT included: Scott Disick, Rob Kardashian, Kanye West, Baby North, and Lamar Odom. Any guesses why?

Or wait, E! has spotted Kanye as a magazine cover (photographed by LaChapelle) wearing a crown of thornspaging Christ complex. And some of the other figures, including Lamar are also in the frame in more subtle ways. The entertainment channel has dissected this thing to pieces because they obviously had a better version of the image file.

Fun fact: Kim Kardashian’s face appears 60 times on the image according to E!.

The Hollywood Reporter published a higher-res version here.

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  • Norma Desperate

    please kill them – they serve no earthly purpose that I can see.

  • http://irez.me/ Vanessa Blaylock

    Is Hyperallergic critiquing here? Or just getting in on the pandering? And acting holy about it? If not for Hyperallergic I wouldn’t even know about this irrelevant waste of time at all. Perhaps a useful New Year’s Resolution would be to unsubscribe from Hyperallergic.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      Life is complicated. Though there is no room for nuance in your world it seems. I love the Kardashians for their trashiness. I like LaChapelle when he doesn’t take himself seriously. This is pretty WOW and a lot to talk about! Though, as editor-in-chief, I think you should unsubscribe because you seem to lack a sense of humor and an eagerness to challenge your thoughts with new things and possibilities without a sense of high seriousness.

      • http://irez.me/ Vanessa Blaylock

        Wow. The editor-in-chief tells readers to fuck off. kk. You win. I’ve unsubscribed.

        • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

          Yet again, no nuance. Yeah, I win!

          • Joe Banh

            Well, I for one am now more committed to reading Hyperallergic than ever as a result of this thread. Carry on everyone!

  • Carlo Grassini

    The Best part of the painting, David LaChapelle’s “A Page of Revelations” (2013), aka the Kardashian Christmas card, is the yellow smiley face, it explains an awful lot about LaChapelle’s non-originality.

    • Shawn Chapman

      Not to be disagreeable, but any artist who is unwilling, or unable to slap a yellow smiley face on their work is no artist at all. I thought the best part of the painting was the prophetic, “THE END…..coming soon.”

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