Celeb/Fashion Photographer Alan Gelati Exhibits ‘My Lights and Shadows’ at Florence’s Gallery Hotel Art

Above image: Alan Gelati, Plastic Club, 2019, stampa fotografica su alluminio, cm 300×200. Plastic club Milan crew and guests

When the Gallery Hotel Art debuted in Florence in 1999, only a small number of genuine “boutique” hotels were scattered sparsely across the Western hospitality landscape – and it was most definitely the only one of its kind in the Tuscan capital. Beyond that, a hotel boasting its own art collection was virtually unheard of.

Twenty-three years later, and every major city has a surfeit of designy hotels with sceney bars and restaurants. And even corporate brands are buying up Basquiats and Hirsts to display proudly in their expensive lobbies, or possibly even by the rooftop swimming pool. But the soul of Gallery Hotel Art remains essentially the same. Now part of the Lungarno Collection, owned and managed by the Ferragamo fashion family, its Fusion Bar & Restaurant (and its new Raw Bar), for instance, is the rare upscale sushi spot in Firenze; and the hotel has remained a place to, well…genuinely immerse oneself in art.

Now after a two-year closure, Gallery Hotel Art has just reopened from a stylish makeover – and as part of its re-introduction into Florentine society it is premiering My Lights and Shadows, an exhibition of new-ish images from venerable fashion/celeb photographer Alan Gelati. Renowned for his emotionally piercing black-and-white shots of the fabulous and famous, his lens has uniquely captured the likes of Nicole Kidman, Eva Herzigova, Janet Jackson, Yasmin Le Bon, even Francis Ford Coppola – and his images have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair, to name but a few.

My Light… features some of his most visceral work, for instance a thoughtful but world-wearied looking Sean Penn, an even more radiant than usual Anya Taylor-Joy, and several particularly sartorially provocative denizens of Milan’s storied gay hotspot Club Plastic, who look like they’ve just stepped off the set of a 1978 Bowie video shoot in Berlin.

“Photography as an artist’s interpretation of the world does not change,” Gelati explains of his artistic philosophy. “What changes is only the medium and the final use. The future for me corresponds only to the realization of planned events, it is a path that is undertaken without knowing what awaits us. I am looking for the stimulus to discover and search for the unpredictability of life itself.”

Spring is still a great time to visit Florence, before the summer heat and crowds take over. So plan to book an Arno River view room at Gallery Hotel Art, sip a few negronis at La Terrazza Rooftop Bar at sister property Hotel Continentale, and then indulge in a gastronomic dinner at Hotel Lungarno’s Borgo San Jacopo, which is also part of the collection.

Alan Gelati, Anya Taylor Joy, 2020, stampa fotografica su alluminio, cm 70×105. L’Officiel Italia

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