The third edition of the Permanent Collection explores how Mario Testino navigates, captures and shapes the cultural scene of his time.
In an expanded display, the collection extends beyond portraits, campaigns and editorial shoots into candid party photography – glimpses of the social and cultural experiences which form Testino’s DNA. Photography historian and writer Robin Muir describes Testino’s approach as such; “For forty years, he has made the most delicate of transactions: he balances traditionalism with inventiveness, timelessness with transience. From this alchemy of opposites emerges the perfect picture.”
The permanent collection culminates in a new multi-wall film installation, bringing together a wealth of fashion images and editorial films from Mario’s archive. The first of its kind in Lima, this room explores the influences and experiences, which Testino draws upon when creating an image – from the vibrancy of Peru to the bohemia of 1980s London. The installation incorporates the short film Testino, an intimate interview directed by Jesse Dylan and produced by Harbers Studios in association with Wondros.
New selections of images from Testino’s popular Alta Moda series are shown. Alta Moda, which first opened at MATE in 2013, is a series of photographic portraits of Peruvians local to the mountainous region of Cusco, wearing festive attire. Alta Moda is the result of a five-year project that investigates both Peruvian traditions and the history of photography. The floor of this room is covered with a large-scale new abstract work, created in collaboration between MarioTestino+ and ege carpets. The design is based on the Sacsayhuaman Stone Citadel around which the Cusco people live.
There is a room devoted to Testino’s 1997 Vanity Fair portraits of Princess Diana, her last official portraits, which also presents a replica of the Versace gown worn when sitting for the photographs. The contrast between these photographs and other work on show illustrates Testino’s ability to adapt deftly to the varied requirements of context and client.