Paolo Gastaldo, Works
Paolo Gastaldo
Paolo Gastaldo FOTO

Born in Genoa on 11th September 1952, Paolo Gastaldo graduates in Architecture in 1978. Active in the field of interior design and planning, he takes the plunge into artistic research in 1980, enquiring into the nature of metropolitan distress.

Mechanic City is in fact a negative ideal city, a visual trip into the absurd realm of the western world, an anxious world marked by the uncertainty of an unpredictable future.

There is little sense today in stubbornly hiding behind labels like "avant-garde" or "modern". What is defined as new is almost invariably already old; conversely, the past offers still undiscovered, unexpectedly modern insights. In this sense, Gastaldo is intentionally non-innovative. He is nevertheless extremely sensitive to contemporaneity as for the content of his work, which results from a sincere and deep process of research, an expressive, consciously assembled cocktail which can well describe by way of photograms and fragments the unbelievable world we are forced to live in.

A leitmotiv in his works - mostly ink and water colours on paper - is nature taking revenge on bureaucrats, bookkeepers, bank clerks and Gastaldo's very colleagues, responsible for projecting the city in Orwell-like spaces.

In the hundred works selected for inclusion on Internet the spirit of great artists of the past is recalled. Genoa, Works Canteen can well be reminiscent of James Ensor's 'Dangerous Cooks' (1986). Numerous faces and situations suggest Otto Dix or Georg Grosz's visual language, the so-called social realism, transforming elements of reality into allegorical representations of human progress.

Further reference can be searched for in Sironi's Urban Landscapes Series: wan housing estates, gloomy petrol stations, factory chimneys show the metamorphosis induced upon nature by machine civilisation. Milano, The Flying Bookkeeper, Milano, Dragged by Unusual November Wind, Genoa Cornigliano, Flying over West of City evoke Chagall's flying figures.

Gastaldo's works are here exhibited in chronological order, so as to illustrate the route followed by the artist since 1980. Finished works alternate with studio sketches, allowing to grasp different phases of development, both stylistic and formal, in Gastaldo's research.

The art of painting today is to be considered a communication failure in the absence of Internet, especially when compared to such communication vectors as cinema and television. Internet has opened new scenarios, directly connecting art producers and art users, outside of the monopoly of official galleries.

Herbert von Grünigen, 1997