Sex-drenched nudes. Cheeky A-list party scenes. Sultry model-motifs. Elegant royal family portraits?
Is it possible to be one of the greatest provocateurs in fashion photography AND be the favorite family photog among British Royalty for over a decade?
It is and Mario Testino has been that photographer for 30 years– and refuses to stop anytime soon. Before he stops by styleboston studios this weekend to discuss his latest projects, here’s a look at the man behind the camera.
After fleeing a life in Peru too small for his larger-than-life persona, Testino, age 22 at the time, found a new home in London, more specifically a room in an abandoned hospital. By 1981, just a few years into being immersed in the edgy English socialite scene, he picked up a camera and quickly made a splash with his photographs of “it” people in “it “places.
Three decades, 50 plus American Vogue covers and countless international magazine spreads later, his portfolio includes photos of globally recognizable faces including Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keith Richards, Gisele Bündchen and hundreds more. In between continent hopping for high fashion editorials to celebrity shoots, he has even had the time to revitalized dwindling fashion houses such as Gucci in jaw-dropping editorial campaigns that injected new popularity into the classic brand during the 90s.
Although life itself inspires him, every artist has a muse and Testino’s comes by the name of Kate Moss. Since her entry onto the fashion runway at age 14, the two have had a photographic love affair spanning thousands of shoots, photographs and looks that landed on dozens of magazine covers and, most recently, books. Without being able to explain their natural chemistry, Testino is putting his obsession and friendship with the super model into a photo book titled “Kate Moss by Mario Testino” slated to be released this fall.
As his name has become desirable in fashion and Hollywood circles for boldly sexy and fun candid images, Testino’s artistic personality is been split into two aesthetic aliases. Through one lens, sexuality expression reigns. And through the other, his incredible gift to capture his subject’s true nature and essence captivates onlookers.
The latter of the two personalities is what has guaranteed his name to be uttered in the same breath with the greats of photography history—and royal memory. In 1997, Testino was asked by Vanity Fair to do a photo spread featuring Diana, the Princess of Wales. Once the images graced the pages of the magazine, the photographer was praised for capturing such an intimate and honest portrayal of the People’s Princess. Not long after, the Princess Di tragically passed and, since, his photographs have been cherished as the last time the world was able to witness her soft elegance and undeniable beauty.
Gaining their trust, Testino has photographed the whole Windsor family from the Princes William and Harry with their pop to Queen Elizabeth II to the entire clan together to Will and Kate’s engagement.
With jet setting left and right, East and West, up and down for projects, Testino still has time to give back fronting campaigns to help struggling artists in South America, particularly in his native Peru. This year he established MATE, a gallery in Lima to celebrate Peruvian artists at home and abroad.
Caught the Testino fever? From now until February, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is hosting not one but two Mario Testino exhibits with 122 of his iconic photographs; his first museum exhibits ever in the United States. The first, Mario Testino: In Your Face, is a dedication to his pioneering fashion visions and the second is Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits.
Better yet… catch our exclusive interview with him this weekend on styleboston!
JOIN USWant to write for styleboston? Send your resume and writing samples to email@example.com.
ABOUT THE SB BLOG
The styleboston Blog is
the digital companion to
definitive lifestyle program
fashion, design, travel,
nightlife, business and
styleboston has earned
four Emmy nominations.
Including most recently
in 2012, Outstanding