The David La Chapelle and Garret Suhrie Mentorship Project

This Maybach Foundation Arts Mentorship project paired a young aspiring artist with an arts connoisseur. In his mission to motivate society to appreciate and preserve nature to survive urban chaos, Garret Suhrie got an opportunity to be mentored by an exemplary photographer, David LaChapelle. Through his art, Garret Suhrie wanted to challenge the way the natural world was viewed. 

Garret has an unusual perspective on the urban world that he shares through his photography. Living in Los Angeles, he saw an urban world that is loud, overcrowded and technical. Nature is a luxury to him. Garret sees luxury in nature that is unadulterated, untouched or simply still. Through the power of photographic storytelling, Garret and the Foundation are trying to motivate the society to appreciate and preserve nature to survive urban chaos.   

To successfully execute this project, the Maybach Foundation assisted in : 

  • Exhibition planning and execution 
  • Organizing networking opportunities with accomplished photographers 
  • Arranging critical reviews by arts connoisseurs  
  • Organizing community service activities 
  • Coaching protégés in developing clear objectives and achieving individual goals 

During the mentorship and beyond, Garret invested himself in visually capturing the decaying industrial facilities in his home city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He juxtaposed the photographs of such sights with those of the natural world. He says, “Although the natural world has been well documented by generations of photographers, there still are amazing original sights hidden and waiting to be captured. The key to finding them is to have the patience to keep looking.” 

On the other hand, his mentor, star photographer David LaChapelle, himself benefited from mentorship. David says, “One of the most important things I can do in my career is to share my experience with aspiring artists. I have had the honor to work with and learn from some of the most important artists of our time. I feel that the time my mentees spend with me would be wasted if I didn’t share what I learned from my mentors. The Maybach mentorship program has provided me with an amazing opportunity to share that knowledge with a young artist whose talent I believe in.” 

The Maybach Foundation invited Garret Suhrie to an all-​expenses-​paid visit to St. Moritz, Switzerland to help him expand his portfolio. His mentorship program culminated with an exhibition of his work at the Maybach Center of Excellence in Stuttgart, Germany in September 2011where he gifted two photographs from his personal collection to the Daimler Art Collection. 

Garret has received numerous accolades from both the art elites and art enthusiasts. Additionally, his work and his talent have been recognized in the following ways :   

  • National Geographic chose one of Garret Suhrie’s photographs as the “Photo of the Day”  
  • Garret exhibited his work at the Los Angeles Art Week  
  • Garret was also invited to exhibit some of his “Nature as Luxury” themed photography at the Los Angeles Ritz Carleton Residences in connection with the Los Angeles Art Week. All the photographs exhibited were purchased. 
  • Garret was Honored with an Invitation to the Annenberg Center in Los Angeles. 

By leveraging the Maybach Foundation’s network, Garret Suhrie was invited to meet Christina Mittermeier, President of the International League of Conservation Photographers at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. The invitation to the event was extended by a high-​profile potential supporter who is interested both in arts and conservation.  

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