I'm always curious about the person behind the artwork. Sometimes a riotously inflammatory artist can turn out to be meek and mild-mannered leaving me to wonder how they create such contradictory results. Luckily Gio Pastori doesn't fall into this category as his colourful and engaging imagery are just as endearing as the man himself. As we shot on a sunny day in Milan, he was a ball of energy jumping around the concrete jungle in all matter of positions - not dissimilar to his hyperactive artwork.
Gio is the last subject in Milan in the GQ for GAP campaign. He's wearing his favourite pieces from the collection, designed by En Noir. Check out GarconJon.com tomorrow for the first of the final four gentlemen from Paris. Go to GAP.com now to see the full GQ for GAP range featuring Brooklyn Tailors, En Noir, M.Nii and John Elliot and co.
Gio Pastori, Illustrator
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I was born in Milan, grew up in the countryside and came back to the city when I was older. A nice balance.
What's your star sign? Sagittarius.
Describe yourself in 5 words? Blue black white genuine leather.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A secretary.
Your personal style seems to take influence from Japanese design & graphical shapes. It makes sense you'd be attracted to this as a visual artist. What attracts you to clothing initially? I really like enlarged proportions. It's the first thing my eye is drawn to. I like when I feel I am dressed like a sturdy square.
If money were no object, who would you buy clothes from? I would probably have a hyper-basic couture personal line and get tailors to create it.
You were incredibly active in front of the camera and your energy is really reflected in your work. How would you sum up your approach to art? I wish I could drawn everything I see. My mind is open to the world. When it's not possible, I feel guilty and blame myself.
There's a child-like quality to your art – do you think you've got a youthful approach to life? It's a nice compliment. I envy children's spontaneity. I used to work a lot in digital and what I really missed was the mistake, the imprecision and the real shadows so I started working with paper and phisical layers. What excites me in the world is the fact that normal people doesn't exist, there’s always an unexpected sublime side in every single one.
I loved your illustration work for GnamBox - what work are you most proud of so far? Probability my first cover for Italian magazine Vita, September issue.
It seemed you were comfortable being photographed - What does your image mean to you? I would answer this with a photo of me making double chin. Kidding aside, once a friend compared me to moisturizer. I think it’s very nice. I really appreciated it.
What artists do you admire? Matisse, Picasso, Basquiat, Lora Lamm, Paul Rand, Saul Bass Munari and Wasselmann above all.
What do you like most about your job? The fact it travels with me and is always new.
How did you get into fashion? Through my elegant grandmothers and Nike.
Best place for coffee? Pavè and Bijoux a secret chinese bar.
Best food in the city? Erba Brusca and Miss Goffetown's garden.
Who are your style influencers? Strangers. I like scrolling street style blogs: after watching "Ciao Manhattan” I found myself smoking and holding my cigarette as Edie Sedgwick did.
What blogs are you currently reading? Niemann, The Jealous Curator, Travel Almanac, The Selby, Bingo 2000, But Does It Float.
See the full interview below.
This collaboration between GQ and GAP is about finding new menswear talent in America. What does great American design mean to you? Pavements and ceilings are the best design memory of my time in the States. I admire American's ability to combine contemporary and old. A great vintage consciousness.
What's on the horizon for you? A collaborative studio with my friends Miss Goffetown and Konrad Bialowas, my greatest friends.
Finally, leave us with some words of wisdom…Go to the museum.
See the full feature on GQ Italia here.