Land *Scape* Riverside, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin.

Land Scape Riverside, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin.

After abandoning the world of fashion photography in 2006 for a more reclusive life on a nudist colony turned working farm in Maui, Hawaii, David LaChapelle is returning to the spotlight with “Land Scapes,” a new exhibition now open at Paul Kasmin Gallery. “I was in Maui, just hanging out, not thinking about anything in particular and this image of a gas station just popped into my head,” explains LaChapelle of his new, larger-than-life photographs, “It looked like a temple lit up in the jungle at night.”

Leggy models and advertiser-friendly stilettos have been replaced by miniature gas stations constructed out of recycled materials, and yet the brightly hued, energetic aesthetic is unmistakably the work of LaChapelle. “I try to use beauty to draw people in instead of repel them,” said the artist-turned-environmental activist. “And hopefully through these images I am able to make a connection.”

“Land Scapes” is on exhibit at Paul Kasmin through March 1st, 2014.