The Ladybug’s Unexpected Journey Through Alfa Castaldi’s Art: His Life in Pictures at the Galleria Sozzani


The glamorous combo of aperitivo + art expo has become a habit for my friend Nita and I here in Milan. We try at least twice a month to meet for an art event followed by a girlish aperitivo in town. One of our favorite venues is definitely the Galleria Franca Sozzani in corso Como here in Milan where these two things match perfectly (plus some good shopping at 10 Corso Como).

We’ve were here over a month ago for the celebratory art expo of the Gallery and we returned a few weeks ago to visit the photography exhibition on Alfa Castaldi that was held until the end of March.


I was particularly touched by this collection as it followed this amazing Milanese photographer’s artistic life through his wonderful pictures. He is best known for his fashion work on Vogue, but his artistic career is much more than fashion photography: his eye not only encapsulated Milan during the ’50s, but also a view of Italy’s popular and rural areas. This showing highlights Castaldi’s fashion and international spotlights on Paris, Algeria, London and all the places that represents a step in his life and work. This, all through experimentation, reportage, portraits, all the facets of an all-around artist.


The expo starts with a section entirely dedicated to Anna Piaggi, the fashion icon and journalist who was also his beloved wife. They shared the love for constant research, aesthetics, fashion renovation and invention. They also worked together for Vogue and created some of the most iconic reportage of the Italian magazine.



But Alfa Castaldi is also a photo-journalist: his pictures taken in rural Italy for Vogue Homme were a real surprise for me. I didn’t imagine I’d find these kind of pictures in this exhibition. But I also realized that calling him a fashion photographer means putting a huge limitation to his art. Even his most glamorous pictures are often taken behind the scenes in designers’ show rooms or catwalks where fashion is still a discovery and not a “show.”

Some of his most famous pictures were exposed there, like “Nudo di Marina à la Klimt” (I’ve talked about this picture that I adore during my visit at the expo “Addio Anni 70” in September here in Milan) or “Pillole.”


You can see many of his pictures on the site, a real online photographic archive created by his son with a database of thousands of pictures from this wonderful artist.

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