A few weeks ago, David LaChapelle photographed Drag Race alum and transgender activist Carmen Carrera and debuted his stunning art for the HIV/AIDS fundraiser Life Ball, and now he’s speaking out over the controversy surrounding it.
The (NSFW) posters feature Carrera fully nude with both male and female genitalia, and are freely posted on various billboards, bus stops, and train stations around Vienna. The visibility of the poster captured the ire of right-wing Austrian group Freedom Party Of Austria, who is now suing the Life Ball.
LaChapelle initially shared his intent that the photos were “meant to be beautiful,” and in an interview with Out, he clarified his position even further:
“I’ve always wanted to do that, so I was very excited. I wanted to photograph a woman in the nude, and capture a goddess that’s both male and female. I wanted someone who’s undergoing that transition, before the full operation, or who had decided to keep their penis. It’s a sensitive subject, but I wanted someone who was not going to be ashamed about that, whether she’s in transition, or she whether was going to continue living as a woman with male genitalia. I was really to get this idea of a beautiful being that possesses both male and female attributes.”
On the Freedom Party of Austria, LaChapelle is definitely right on and defiant about those trying to silence his art:
“The posters may get defaced, but they will just be replaced, and they will still be up for another month after the Life Ball.”
Now this is the kind of gay/trans solidarity we need, and we’re big fans of LaChapelle for sticking to his guns and Carmen Carrera for being bold enough to show us hers. The Life Ball will be held this weekend in Vienna, Austria.