I went to see the international photographer GIOVANNI GASTEL’s photo exhibition “My Ladies”.
(Milan October 20th – November 25th, 2017)
Born in Italy, but known all over the world. Giovanni Gastel can’t be summed up with two words, on his art there is so much material that you can write quietly a degree thesis.
“Women saved me,” says the photographer. They are the protagonists of My Ladies on display in Milan from 20 October to 25 November at Spazioborgogno: a hymn to femininity, style, elegance and a world made of subtle seduction, sensitivity and hidden fragility.
Muse that inspired Giovanni Gastel’s work during his 40 years of professional career, recently presented in a dedicated anthology at Palazzo della Ragione in Milan, curated by Germano Celant.
Primary shapes: in many photographs, Gastel’s taste is perceived for clean and essential lines; a formal elegance that is, first of all, the elegance of the spirit.
Between cinema and theater: the works are influenced by the world of cinema and theater, showing the taste for the setting with which Gastel staged their models, wrapping them in dreamy, woody and circular scenes.
Women’s gazes: it’s a very important topic, in addition to being the one who looks, the photographer also becomes the one who is looked at, even scrutinized and almost bare by his own Muses. These looks that reach us with strength. Disconcertingly, they sometimes save us and sometimes judges. The gazes belong to languid, amusing, windy, sweet and severe women.
Cult of classicism: this theme is beloved to Gastel and is peculiar to his style and personality; touches one of the core of his aesthetics, is a funnel that brings nourishment to work and that sink into the long family history, resulting in the highest aspirations, in ideals of elegance, strictness, and ethical values.
Textures and patterns. Women revealed. Playing between the skin and the different textures found or induced by the fashion world, which stimulate Gastel to “dress” her women without ever covering them, rather exalting their shapes and personalities. The strong fragility of femininity is exalted by the desire that the veil activates in a seductive short-circuit. As Nicola D. Angerame points out: “This exhibition tells us how Gastel’s gaze has always been his own, almost faustian, journey, in which woman becomes a symbol, a vestal guarding secrets and a way to reach more high truth “.
Valerio Tazzetti adds: “Without the woman there is no light and without the photograph maybe there is no real light of the light that woman emanates. Gastel, with great respect, joy and elegance, has shown her in a kaleidoscope of shimmering images, but always immersed in an aura that has sublimated multiple identities”.