Giovanni Gastel first encountered photography in the 1970’s, the medium
was considered a legitimate art form and discipline and had begun to be
collected in the world’s museums and galleries alike. At the time,
fashion photography—which was created and found in a number of contexts
but had hitherto been considered a practical, advertorial, and commercial
endeavor—was also beginning to gain status and recognition in the art
world as work by artist’s such as Man Ray, Guy Bourdin, Irvin Penn, and
Erwin Blumenfeld introduced their surreal vision to publications en masse
and thus redefined the photographic canon.
in Milan in 1955 to Giuseppe Gastel and Ida Visconti di Modrone, Gastel’s
first exposure to the arts came through his uncle and renowned film maker
Luchino Visconti. His career had its first turning point when he met his
future agent Carla Ghiglieri in 1981 and began to work for famous
magazines such as Annabella, Vogue Italia , Mondo Uomo , and Donna. Like
Bourdin, Gastel maintained a constant artistic output throughout his
career in fashion and in 1997 his arrival came when the Triennale di
Milano dedicated a solo exhibition to him curated by the contemporary art
historian Germano Celant.
his predecessors, the artist’s work is rife with visual allusions to
surrealism but the artist’s central concern is the poetic: “What fascinates me about photography is that it has no
relation to reality,” says Gastel, “It is the interruption of the constant flow of time. From
eternal movement, life, to eternal immobility. It alludes to the real to
create a real parallel.” Like a poet,
the artist is primarily interested in achieving a concise structure of
form within an image that will be briefly experienced, but imbue meaning
to the viewer in its reflective unreality.
Italy his reputation is on par with major international fashion
photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, and Mario Sorrenti.
Monica Belluci, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista have posed for the
artist’s sensitive and unique eye. He works regularly for Glamour
(Italia), Vanity Fair (Italy) ELLE Decor (Italia), and is one of the
officially appointed staff photographers for Harpers International
della Ragione Fotografia/Milan presented a major retrospective of his works
curated by Germano Celant entitled "Quarana Anni di Fotografia"
in 2016. His exhibition “Donna” was held concurrently at Photo12
Galerie in 2016. “Canons of Beauty”
is his first exhibition at the Lumiere Brothers Centre
for Photography in Moscow and runs
from March 16th to May 9th, 2017.
PRESS ARTICLES ABOUT GASTEL HERE.
Polaroid Oro 1, 1997.
Polaroid film on gold leaf