Como, violated childhood takes center stage in an exhibition by photographer Giovanni Gastel

Photographer Giovanni Gastel (Milan, 1955) returns, a little more than a year later, to Como in an unprecedented capacity. In fact, not as a photographer of the glossy world of fashion and dreams, but in the special role of Author of the Exhibition entitled Giovanni Gastel for the Piccolo Principe on social hardship, curated by Maria Cristina Brandini, realized by the Piccolo Principe Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus, in collaboration with the Municipality of Como, Culture Sector and 365 days of Art and with the contribution of the Casa Vincenziana Onlus, Como headquarters.

The artist’s exhibition will be held from Oct. 5 to Oct. 27 at the Palazzo del Broletto, with free opening to the public every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The exhibition is dedicated to the theme of “violated childhood.” On display will be 28 photographs in which the author has portrayed children and adolescents of various ages belonging to the Community of the Little Prince in Busto Arsizio, an effective symbol of one of the thousands of so-called “foster homes” scattered throughout the territory, which take in little ones removed by the Juvenile Courts from their family situations because they have been abused, mistreated, or otherwise not properly cared for.

Gastel found himself catapulted from his world, the world of fashion, made of beauty and well-being, to a reality consisting of pain, deep suffering, and injustice. Tales so degrading that one cannot believe they are true: a web of violence, indifference, ignorance, neglect, and an absolute lack of the ethical and moral values that minimally we are all called to respect.

Each young man portrayed has his face covered with his own hands. As Giovanni Gastel explains, “...young people who conceal the part that is most representative for us. Why this choice? Certainly because hiding is the first instinctive gesture to escape violence in an attempt not to see, to obscure the unwatchable, to defend the part in which we all identify ourselves.” Twenty-eight different young people, twenty-eight different poses, twenty-eight poignant and moving stories that complete the image of belonging, written, with almost poetic delicacy, by the founder and head of the Community the Little Prince, Patrizia Corbo.

Concurrently with the ,ostra, the national and international photography competition L’Onda Nuova, conceived and curated by Maria Cristina Brandini and totally realized by Casa Vincenziana Onlus - Como, was announced to give Italian or foreign talents in the field of photography the opportunity to present their works. The three winners (Technical Jury chaired by Giovanni Gastel) were granted the opportunity to exhibit their works during Gastel’s Exhibition, at the Broletto. As Cosimo Andrea Vestuti, president of Casa Vincenziana Onlus Como, says: “ In addition to cash prizes, books, plaques and souvenir scrolls, we thought that for a good but not yet known photographer, the best recognition was to be able to see their images exhibited next to those of a famous Great Artist. A unique opportunity also to be seen by a wide audience.”

Giovanni Gastel is among Italy’s leading fashion photographers. Grandson of Luchino Visconti, a descendant of the Visconti-Erba family, from an early age he began to show his artistic vocation as a theater actor and poet. In the 1970s his first contact with photography took place and, after a long self-taught apprenticeship, he approached the world of fashion. From that moment he began to collaborate with the most prestigious international magazines (to date he counts more than 140 covers): Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Donna, Amica, Elle, Rolling Stone and more. His are many of the advertising campaigns of the most famous national and international brands: Dior, Krizia, Trussardi, Tod’s, Acqua di Parma, Samsung, Hogan, Aldo Coppola just to name a few.

In 1997, the Milan Triennale dedicated his first solo exhibition curated by Germano Celant. In 2016, to celebrate his 40-year career, the City of Milan organized an anthological exhibition curated by Germano Celant, at Palazzo della Ragione. He is a permanent member of the Polaroid Museum in Chicago and a Board Member of the Museum of Photography at the Milan Triennale.

Source: release

Como, violated childhood takes center stage in an exhibition by photographer Giovanni Gastel
Como, violated childhood takes center stage in an exhibition by photographer Giovanni Gastel

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