Giovanni Gastel was born in Milan in 1955, to Giuseppe Gastel and Ida Visconti di Modrone, the sister of the famous film maker Luchino Visconti, who in turn provided young Giovanni with his first exposure to the arts. Encountering photography in the 1970s, making first contact with the medium was a true revelation for the young artist.
In 1981, his career had its first turning point when he met his future agent Carla Ghiglieri. She introduced Gastel to the fashion world and the young photographer started to work for famous magazines such as Annabella, Vogue Italia, Mondo Uomo, and Donna.
His artistic arrival came in 1997, when the Triennale di Milano dedicated a solo exhibition to him curated by the contemporary art historian Germano Celant, in which about 200 pictures were shown and evidenced his long and prolific career.
In Italy his reputation is on par with major international fashion photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, and Mario Sorrenti. Before his mother’s death, Gastel declined to work outside of Italy in order spend time with her, but since then he has divided his time between Milan and New York, where he has become one of the officially appointed staff photographers for Harpers International Magazine.
Monica Belluci, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista have posed for the artist’s sensitive and unique eye. He works regularly for Glamour (Italia), Vanity Fair (Italy) and ELLE Decor (Italia), Harpers Magazines International (US).
A major exhibition devoted to Gastel will be held at Milan’s new photography museum Palazzo della Ragione from September through December 2016, curated by Germano Celant.