Even if you don’t know who David LaChapelle is — or if you’re like me, you confused him for Dave Chapelle for three years; whoops — chances are you’ve seen some of his work. The guy’s worked with some of the biggest names, from Madonna to Tupac and Rihanna to Amanda Lepore. He also did the Kardashian Kristmas Kard last year, but we’re just going to pretend that never happened.
His latest project was a poster for The Life Ball, the annual Viennese gala that raises awareness and money for the fight against HIV/AIDS. As this year’s theme for the Ball was The Garden of Earthly Delights, LaChapelle put together an Adam and Eve–inspired photoshoot with Carmen Carrera, wherein she modelled au naturelle in the Garden of Eden.
[David LaChapelle / lifeball.org]
Alongside the caption “Ich bin Adam. Ich bin Eve. Ich bin Ich.” (“I am Adam. I am Eve. I am me.”) Carmen poses nude, playing up the duality of the genders. As LaChapelle explained, “Gender lines are blurred and every person is unique in how they see themselves. For me the body is more than something to be looked at as an object of sexual gratification. The body is a beautiful housing for the soul that we are celebrating in this picture.”
The poster will be auctioned off at The Life Ball’s AIDS Solidarity Gala to benefit HIV-related foundations.
I’m happy to see gender fluidity expressed in such a well executed and artistic way, and I’m happy to see people learning to embrace the fact that they probably have, at the very least, a little of everything deep down inside of them. People are complicated mixtures of everything and everyone they experience; that’s what makes them complete beings. If we boiled all of that down to a simple this-or-that question, that would glaze over a lot of what makes us human.