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 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners

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.

My personal impressions are the following. Gastel is The Elegance.
In all his photos (even those not shown in this exhibition), there is this thread, regardless of the subject: elegance.
He is elegant himself. No, I'm not talking about his dress, I refer to him as person.
Anyone (and I emphasize anyone), went to shake his hand, just to say, "Congratulations!" he held their hand firmly, looked in their eyes and even though it was for a few seconds, those few seconds were for them.
Come on! You surely met someone you shook the hand and this person gave you a cold hand shake, in the meantime they turned the head to the other side to say hello to someone else, right? Or they pay attention only if you tell him: “Hi, I am John Smith from the New York Times”, then they stop talking and act funny.
Well, Gastel is “The Elegance” and fine manners too.
I stop here, I don’t go ahead because I hope we shall have an opportunity to interview him. We leave you with the photos we took (credit to Vaifro Minoretti) and the press release about the exhibition, which, believe me, is worth the visit.
Gabriella Ruggieri for 1blog4u

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners
Press Release:
Milan October 20th – November 25th, 2017
Spazioborgogno and Photo&Contemporary are pleased to announce “My Ladies”, a wide anthological exhibition by Giovanni Gastel, focusing on a selection of about 70 fashion and portraits’ photographs, dedicated to the most famed women and models of the international scene, realized by the famous Milanese author.
Severe and witty, poetic and austere, elegant and masculine, charm and algid, Giovanni Gastel’s women take new aspects and gazes through which the evolutions of the female identity, that have occurred in recent decades are being read.

“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. 

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners
“My Ladies“ focuses on some of the most significant works of the Milanese photographer, immortalized on the most famous fashion magazine’s covers, from Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. The curators, Nicola Davide Angera and Valerio Tazzetti, made a selection that highlighted some of the Gastel’s key aspects, linked to his personal way of feeling and interpreting femininity through the photography: “We would like to offer some suggestions about a possible reading - say the curators - that doesn’t follow a well-known score. The spectator will face an emotional impact, full of emotions, suggestions, surprises, and constant evocations.“ Rather than sketching a sectional path, the curators identified and highlighted some of the distinctive features of Gastel’s art in a kaleidoscopic game of references and allusions to its female universe.

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.

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners

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".