Currently reading : Luciano Castelli SELF-PORTRAITS, 1973-1986
Luciano Castelli is the Swiss artist who is perhaps best known for his paintings but the self portraits which he created at the very beginning of his career show him as a mythological creature channeling visions of death, sex, the animal and fantasy. These truly striking and incredibly original images for their time are currently on show at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.
Castelli achieved notoriety between 1970 and 1983 as a member of a school of expressive and gestural painting known as the “Jungen Wilden” that had been formed by a group of painters in Berlin. His friendship with the Parisian photographer Pierre Mollinier introduced him to the world of photography and the period spent in France profoundly influenced his pictorial and photographic works. He became a muse for Mollinier which kick started his own explorations with self portraiture.
The dramatically theatrical visions created onto the body of Castelli varied from the expected notions of drag, suggestions of glamour and the primal visions of sexually fuelled animalistic body painting. The fantasy which Castelli dreamed of would become costumed on to his body through the purpose of making these photographs or films. “I believe we are all made up of male and female aspects, and the combination interests me . . .”
There is a true richness in the originality to the images that Casetlli created which is in part to do with how drastically different but simultaneously similar he could make himself look.
Opening yesterday the exhibition runs until the 25th of May.
More information can be found here.