GIOVANNI GASTEL


GIOVANNI GASTEL

Giovanni Gastel was born in Milan on December 27th, 1955 to Giuseppe Gastel and Ida Visconti di Modrone, the youngest of seven children. In 1967, at the age of twelve, Gastel starts showing his artistic vocation, joining experimental theatre companies as an actor till he turns seventeen.
At the same time, he develops a passion for poetry and at sixteen Cortina publishes his collection of poems Casbah. His turns to photography in the Seventies and a long period of apprenticeship begins shooting weddings, portraits, small still-lives and occasionally kids’ fashion. In 1975-76 he gets his first big breal at Christie's auction house, but the real turning point is meeting Carla Ghiglieri who becomes his agent in 1981, thus introducing him in the fashion world. In 1982 he gets his first still-lives published in "Annabella" and starts collaborating with "Vogue Italia". Later, thanks to Flavio Lucchini, managing director of Edimoda, and Gisella Borioli, he also works with "Mondo Uomo" and "Donna". From now on, busy as ever, Giovanni starts collaborating with the most prestigious Italian and international fashion magazines, primarily in Paris. During these intense years he creates his unique and poetically ironic style, while his passion for art urges him to elaborate images with a well-balanced composition.

The inspiration for his still-life photography comes from Pop Art, which he fell in love with since the early Seventies after attending a show at Rotonda della Besana In Milan, and the photography of Irving Penn. Also inspired by his studies of Renaissance Art, Giovanni constantly refers to an ideal of elegance he has absorbed since his childhood, particularly from his mother. In the mid-Eighties, he launches Gastel&Associati with Angelo Annibalini and Uberto Frigerio. With them he plans to promote and professionally launch young photographers, either trained in his studio, or met during his many workshops. His active commitment to photography brings him in contact with AFIP (Italian Professional Photographers Association), which he runs as President from 1996 to 1998, remaining its Honorary President to this day.

In 1997 he has his first major retrospective at the Triennale Museum in Milano, curated by contemporary art historian Germano Celant. The show features about 200 pictures, evidence of his long and prolific career. Giovanni uses “old mix” techniques, cross processing, pictorial elaborations, decouplings and stratifications, as well as digital touch-up. His professional success consolidates in the following decade and his name is often cited in trade magazines along with those of Italian photography greats such as Oliviero Toscani, Giampaolo Barbieri, Ferdinando Scianna, or even with those of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino and Jurgen Teller. In 2002, La Kore Oscar della Moda awards him with the Oscar for photography. He also becomes permanent member of the Polaroid Museum of Chicago. Giovanni now concentrates his activities in his studio in via Tortona, in Milan, where he still enjoys his passion for poetry (his last poem collection is called Cinquanta) and for freeform photographic research.

Galleries by GIOVANNI GASTEL (2)

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