Until March 17, 2013, the Eduardo Sívori Museum in Buenos Aires exhibits a retrospective of Juan Gatti‘s vital and vibrant work. The exhibition is an anthology that brings together the most characteristic works of his prolific career.
Also on display is the photographic project Contraluz by the same artist. The collection consists of 359 works in different formats and techniques produced over a period of more than 30 years. Among them 40 previously unpublished photographs by the Argentine artist.
JUAN GATTI. 1. Contraluz 1. 2. Contraluz 3.
Born in 1950 in Buenos Aires, Gatti used to spend hours sitting next to his mother, a seamstress, leafing through fashion magazines. His passion for fashion brought him to study Visual Arts at the Martín A. Malharro School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. He has become one of the most influential graphic designers of his generation.
Always surrounded by fashion, Gatti established a close relationship with the firm Kenzo. Kenzo Takada, the Japanese fashion designer internationally known for his exotic designs and spectacular fashion shows, met him in New York in 1979. By then, Gatti was working in a collective project called Hello Again.
On several occasions, Gatti and Kenzo coincided in the city´s nightlife circuit, and their relationship became closer, until Kenzo asked him to create a series of prints for his line. This prompted Gatti to travel to Paris with a stopover in Madrid, where he was offered a position he could not refuse: Creative Director of CBS Records Spain. During this period, he worked with the most renowned Spanish music acts of the “movida madrileña”, such as Alaska, Dinarama, the singer Miguel Ríos and Mecano.
At the same time, Gatti worked for clients in the fashion world, not just for Spanish brands like Loewe, but also for the French brand Chloé and the German designer Karl Lagerfeld.
He has worked with film directors like Pedro Almodóvar, John Malkovich, Fernando Trueba and a long list of Spanish, American and Latin American filmmakers. Gatti continued his fashion collaborations with Vogue Italia, and in 1989, Franca Sozzani hired him as Creative Director of the magazine.
JUAN GATTI. Contraluz 2.
He continued to work with fashion houses such as Jesús Del Pozo, Zara, Martine Sitbon and others; this time as photographer. This somewhat unknown talent has led him to work with photographers like Peter Lindbergh, for whom he also designed numerous exhibitions in Tokyo and several European cities.
In 2012 Kenzo’s new creative directors, Humberto León and Carol Lim, preparing their 2012 spring collection, started researching their files and those of Vogue Italia. Fascinated by Gatti´s work, they turned to him to transfer the energy and strength of his work to their spring / summer collection for 2012. Gatti made a series of prints inspired in botanical illustrations from the 18th century: bunches of grapes and wild strawberries full of color and energy. The collection was an overwhelming success.
Along with the exhibition at the Sívori Museum, there will be an audiovisual display organized by the Buenos Aires Planetarium in collaboration with Madrid´s City Council, from December 9th 2012 to March 17th 2013.
For those who cannot travel to Buenos Aires to view Gatti’s work, the book Juan Gatti: Photographics will bring them closer to the graphic designer’s work, particularly to his collaboration with Almodóvar. ■