When the painter Luciano Castelli began posing for the camera in the early 1970s, he adopted a variety of roles, acting out every conceivable facet of himself. In utter disregard of gender distinctions, he variously transformed himself into an androgynous mythical creature and a glam rock diva. His virtuoso, surreal self-portraits, so far published only in limited form, are of an undiminished vibrancy in their playful eroticism and darkly narrative thrust. They reveal a hitherto underrated aspect of Castelli s ouevre, which now, several decades later, could well be seen in an entirely new light. Very much in the spirit of the French psychoanalyst and art critic Jean-Michel Ribettes, who already in 2001 read Castelli s expressive theatricality as a timeless phenomenon and critique of a puritan society: Castelli s expressive theatricality is there to protest at the confusion of a gregarious, prudish, vilely mercantile period.