Le détournement de l’art dans la publicité, enjeux sémiotiques et spirituels

The diversion of art in advertising, semiotics and spiritual issues

  • Leila Haj Sadok Institut Supérieur des Beaux-arts de Nabeul
Keywords: Art, Advertising, David LaChapelle, Diversion, Spirituality


In this research, the problem proposed is how nowadays society aims to communicate an experience of art according to the cultural and commercial context. Some advertising posters made by artists raise questions that call me to dissect this phenomenon in the discourse of art. In recent decades, several artists have been seen creating advertisements for big brands that seem to favor the interests of both parties. All this ambiguity raises several questions as to their meaning and their conditions of reception. In order to shed light on this issue, I chose the American photographer David LaChapelle as a corpus. This director is recognized for his diversion of works of art in advertising posters while seeking a new receptive language. The artist criticizes the consumer society and their flamboyant style. Despite this ambivalence, he remains very popular with advertisers. By diverting the work "L’Ultima Cena" by Leonardo da Vinci, the artist seeks a new spiritual staging. With his work "Jesus is my Homeboy", the pop artist seeks to communicate an idea, a new semiotic language. Does the difference in context prevent the correct understanding of the artist's works? Does the reproduction divert the meaning of the image? My analysis aims to expose the communication and advertising issues related to this type of reproduction as well as their cultural, social and spiritual significance.