Giovanni Gastel is internationally one of the best known names in Italian photography. He has worked with the most important fashion magazines for thirty years. He
lived and worked in Milan when professional commitments did not take him around the world. Before moving to the digital format, he worked mainly in large format Polaroids and with the 20 × 25 optical
bench. A connoisseur of experimentation, he had introduced "old mix" techniques, the "cross" technique, pictorial reworkings and ironic still life into contemporary fashion photography.
Heir to the aristocratic and refined style that characterised the old Milanese aristocracy (he is the grandson of Luchino Visconti), he reflected culture, elegance and charm in his style. Sometimes refined, dreamlike and symbolic, sometimes surreal and demystifying, his images narrate an inexorable path of creative research that, read backwards, reflects the evolution of customs over the last twenty-five years.
In the 80s and 90s Gastel worked on advertising campaigns for the most important Italian fashion houses such as Versace, Missoni, Tod's, Ferragamo and many more. Success in his native Italy also brought him to Paris in the 90s, where he worked for brands such as Dior, Nina Ricci, Guerlain, as well as in the UK and Spain. Although his career began in the fashion world, Gastel quickly felt the urge to express himself through artistic projects. In 1997, he was given a solo exhibition at the Triennale Museum of Milan, curated by the art critic Germano Celant. The Triennale exhibition catapulted Gastel to the forefront of the photographic world, and from the 2000s his professional success was consolidated when his name began to appear in specialist magazines alongside those of important Italian photographers such as Oliviero Toscani and Ferdinando Scianna and international legends such as Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz and Jürgen Teller. Professional success and recognition opened the doors to another side of Gastel's photographic repertoire that had remained unexplored until the late 2000s: portraiture. This in turn culminated in an exhibition at MAXXI in Rome in 2020, featuring the faces of many of the people from the world of culture, design, art, fashion, music, entertainment and politics that Gastel had encountered over his 40-year career. Notable portraits include Barack Obama, Ettore Sottsass, Roberto Bolle and Marco Pannella. Giovanni Gastel currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, an institutional partner of the Milan Triennale, and on the Board of Directors of the IEO-CCM Foundation.
Giovanni Gastel died in March 2021.
Noir blanche exclusively represents the work of Giovanni Gastel in Germany.