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Triennale Milano pays tribute to the photographer Giovanni Gastel through two exhibitions

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Triennale Milano pays tribute to the photographer Giovanni Gastel (Milan, 1955-2021) through two exhibitions: The people I like, in collaboration with the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, e The jewels of the imagination, in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

The people I like, the care of Uberto Frigerio with equipment by Lissoni Associati, presents over 200 portraits which are the testimony of the immense variety of encounters that characterized Gastel’s long career. A labyrinth of faces, poses, dreams of characters from the world of culture, design, art, fashion, music, entertainment, politics. A collective portrait of souls, met during a forty-year career. Among the characters portrayed: Barack Obama, Marco Pannella, Forattini, Ettore Sottsass, Germano Celant, Mimmo Jodice, Fiorello, Sugar, Tiziano Ferro, Vasco Rossi, Roberto Bolle, Baby saw, Bianca Balti, Luciana Littizzetto, Franca Sozzani, Miriam Leone, Monica Bellucci, Mara Venier, Carolina Crescentini.

The title of the exhibition is a declaration of intent: the photographer reveals himself in his most intimate authenticity and consecrates the “portrait” of the artistic work par excellence. Featuring over 200 portraits, the exhibition documents an important part of his work. Models, actresses, artists, operators in the sector, VIPs, singers, musicians, politicians, journalists, designers, chefs are part of the kaleidoscope of photographs exhibited without a precise order or belonging to a specific sector or category.

The portraits are not perceived as mere representations of the human physiognomy, but reveal a truer inner meaning: the aim is to investigate what goes beyond the exterior, capturing the complexity of the subject. At the center always the soul that shines through the pose, the expression of the face and its theatricality. Portraits take on a central role that does not stop at physical analysis, but delves into the psychological sphere of the character.

All portraits are in large format, most of them in black and white, while in the final part of the exhibition there is space for 80 images from the series of black hills, portraits at the margins of the spirituality of the soul.

In parallel, the small exhibition “The jewels of the imagination“, created in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Photography, presents as a precious setting, to use a term derived from goldsmithing, one of the first works that gave Giovanni Gastel international fame. On display are 20 images of a larger project commissioned to the author by Daniel Swarowsky Corporation in 1991 for the book of the same name, translated into four languages, and the 20th century jewelry exhibition, both curated by Deanna Farneti Cera.

After the first presentation at the La Scala Theater Museum, the exhibition circulated for six years in some of the most important European museums of applied art (Museum Bellerive in Zurich, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Cologne, Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin ) to then also reach the United States.

Giovanni Gastel gives life to a fantastic and imaginary reinterpretation of jewels from which all his extraordinary creative vein emerges. Here we find the stylistic elegance and the central themes of his artistic research, the syncretic dialogue between the world of objects and that of the human figure, irony, the body and the mask, disguise and metamorphosis: a red thread that will accompany his creative itinerary throughout his life.

The photographs on display were donated by Lanfranco Colombo to the Lombardy Region and are kept at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Giovanni Gastel
The people I like and The jewels of the imagination
December 1, 2021 – March 13, 2022
Tickets: 8 euro
Hours of Triennale Milano: Tuesday – Sunday
11.00 – 20.00 (last entrance at 19.00)
Milan Triennale
viale Alemagna 6
20121 Milan

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