Beauty, life’s triumph, is fleeting. It heightens the body’s sublime aspect, but beneath its effigy lies the spectre of passing time, and so the figure beauty has within it the spectre of decay. Gastel, the great fashion photographer who has been portraying and exalting beauty for years, challenges himself in this work by confronting one of the deepest philosophical and literary themes. Characterised by a formal exactness, Gastel photography is an interweaving of experimentation and glamour: indeed he was the first to introduce “old mix” techniques, the “criss-cross” technique and pictorial reworking. The images in this catalogue demonstrate the direction of his current work in which the body of models is cut and metamorphose, resulting in a delicate balance between attraction and repulsion. Colour nuances and the manipulation of details through digital technology are extreme, creating fascinating and innovative images. Giovanni Gastel, who is among the best known international photographers, boasts thirty years of experience in the fashion world. He has published his photographs in such influential magazines as Vanity Fair Italia, Vogue Italia and Elle. He has also held a solo show at Triennale, Milan in 1997.