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.
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 thorns — paging 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.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.