The exhibition In your Face reveals the essence of fashion and is an intimate approach to the work of the famous Peruvian photographer Mario Testino. The glamorous show will be on view until June 15 at the Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A collection of 122 photographs selected by Testino himself presents a comprehensive overview of his work. The most daring images reflect different aspects of his work: from iconic fashion and advertising photographs to autobiographical images. “I am delighted to share my work in this fascinating and beautiful country, whose tradition, elegance, history and energy have served as a great inspiration to me,” says Testino.
It would be impossible to forget a barefoot Lady Di, wearing a black dress and lying on a white sofa looking at the camera, or the loving embrace of Kate Middleton and Prince William as they announced their engagement. The eye of Mario Testino is behind those iconic images. His pieces reveal the truth behind what is visible, connecting with the person rather than the character. That is why he is able to produce photographs with a haunting spontaneity. His very authentic way of portraying the members of the British royalty earned him, in early 2014, from the hands of Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his career and his contributions to photography.
Testino`s compositions grace the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as ad campaigns for fashion brands like Gucci or Versace, which are part of the show. Luckily, the artist has added some personal snapshots that offer pictorial images of unusual strength in a world that is so accustomed to capturing every image.
His years in the profession are well documented in the display, reflecting his interaction with mass media, the glamour of the fashion press and his close relationship with iconic celebrities such as Kate Moss (his muse and friend), Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt and David Beckham, among others.
With the casual look of a studio, the photographs are framed and supported on a shelf, or hung on the walls to create an intimate and emotional connection between the viewer and the work, the themes and the artist’s universe.
Testino`s photographic campaigns have contributed to the success of brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Chanel and Dior. In addition, his photographs are part of the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum, both in London, where the artist resides since 1976.
The photographer managed to capture the ephemeral art hidden in fashion through a gesture, a look or a shrug, creating images of such intensity that are capable of traversing the surface of the character to expose his humanity. With that talent, without a doubt Mario Testino has secured a place as one of the most influential photographers of the contemporary art scene. ■