This Saturday, the 5th of August, the famous yearly Canal Parade will take place in Amsterdam. It is part of the 2016 Amsterdam Gay Pride, which this year also hosts Europride. The festival has been taking place over the course of the past two weeks. And what better occasion is there to introduce to you an icon from the gay-scene who has also become a star in the art world: Amanda Lepore. Photographed by lots of artists, including Terry Richardson, she is best know as the muse of David LaChapelle.
Amanda Lepore, New York icon
She visited Amsterdam last week when she performed at the Milkshake Festival and of course drew a lot of attention. As one of the most notable and celebrated transgender people in the world, she always ready to make headlines as a hostess, singer or model. Or as she puts it herself: ‘the world’s most famous transsexual and an effervescent fixture on the New York scene, Amanda Lepore has been at the cutting edge of culture since the club kid era, breaking and re-making the rules for music, marketing, and gender.’
David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore and Andy Warhol
David LaChapelle has photographed her a lot. In fact, it could be said that it was LaChapelle who made Amanda Lepore a real star, making her known to the general audience. We have written about their relationship before, when introducing David LaChapelle’s homages to Andy Warhol. The photographs do not only comment on some of the most iconic works in modern art history. As Forbes wrote: with Amanda Lepore, LaChapelle is ‘braving the controversy over plastic surgery and gender roles. He views Lepore as a celebrated figure who has risen to stardom by changing genders, and acknowledges her multiple plastic surgery procedures with her overly-exaggerated features, thereby confronting the hypocrisy and double standard regarding sexuality.
The cooperation between David LaChapelle is thus an impressive combination of art, entertainment and glamour, but inspires in more important ways too – exactly like the yearly Amsterdam Gay Pride.