From Barack Obama to Monica Bellucci, 200 portraits by Giovanni Gastel are on display at Rome’s MAXXI
Admire Giovanni Gastel’s superb photography, ‘The People I Like’ a portrait exhibition on display at the MAXXI from September 15, 2020 to March 7, 2021. Gastel has captured over 200 figures in elegant shots and displayed the essence of human emotions and identity in just a few camera clicks, in a few fleeting moments. ‘…hundreds of people, men and women of different social backgrounds and professional roles, well-known or otherwise-’ Giovanna Melandri president of the MAXXI foundation comments. Melandri highlights the ‘magical synthesis’ that occurs in Gastel’s work, emanating ‘seduction, empathy and mutual discovery.’ We can connect with the tenderness that these portraits embody – as we are witness to a vulnerability rarely seen (especially from some of the incredibly famous figures in the frames.)
These “celebrities” are captured as transient and as natural as strangers on the metro. All sense of career or status is lost, instead we are immersed in their emotions. For instance, we notice Barack Obama in a single instant, laughing, his face creased with sheer joy. Or Toni Thorimbert’s sharp eyes scorching the camera lens. Gastel pointed out a personal favourite, Roberto Bolle nonchalant and relaxed in a theatre seat after a ballet performance. Gastel was enchanted by Bolle’s human moment of tiredness, which contrasts the often lavish shots of Bolle leaping like an Adonis on stage. Enjoy many others such as the beauty of Winnie Harlow, her portrait is fragile with the added touch of symbolic masks balanced on her head, or Isabelle Ferrari’s soft, whimsical shot as she sweeps hair off her face.
In a year where we have lost human connection due to social distancing and face coverings, it is a joy to stand before Gastel’s work and feel immersed in others’ souls. Appreciate the contrasting photographic techniques, some portraits in black in white, others bursting with colour, some hiding behind messy hair or hats. Others are up close, each eyelash and wrinkle depicted in the finest clarity. Look out for the portrait of Gastel’s Leo, still elegant, yet with four paws and a tail!
Till March 7, 2021
MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo
Via Guido Reni, 4/a
Tuesday – Friday 11am – 7pm
Ticket Price with entrance to MAXXI: €7
For further info visit: www.maxxi.art/it