Mario Testino sets up at the MFA with “In Your Face” exhibit


Famed fashion photographer Mario Testino has gained great attention and buzz-worthy news around the city of Boston with his new exhibit ‘In Your Face,’ currently housed at the Museum of Fine Arts located on Huntington Avenue. The exhibit features displayed photographs that the photographer has featured in various magazines and private works within the past 30 years. It is a celebration of not only the development throughout the years, but also a meaningful appreciation of the efforts that occurred behind the scenes of each photo displayed, allowing visitors of the Museum of Fine Arts to be exposed to a different side of fine art that sets itself aside from any other works displayed in the entire museum.
A frequent visitor to the Museum of Fine Arts might not expect too much from a series of photographs but will be instantly be convinced once they walk down the set of stairs leading to the exhibit. Upon entering the stairwell, museum visitors are introduced to a wall full of roughly 30 small television monitors playing a reel of media segments featuring Testino on networks including CNN amongst many others. Finally reaching the bottom of the stair well, visitors are introduced to a full set of text that covers the entire teal painted wall, providing a small dose of the history behind Mario Testino’s career. Testino fans are then steered through a set of glass doors to the exhibit that has recently been advertised on buses, poles, trains, and billboards throughout the city, making for a truly genuine and exciting experience.
“For me, an early fascination with cinema developed into an obsession with photojournalism. I love the immediacy of both and strive to incorporate that into my work,” says Mario Testino in one of the many inspiring quotes displayed on the colorful walls of the exhibit.


The end caps of each hallway in the exhibit featured beyond imaginable images of a few of Testino’s proudest pieces, allowing the visitor’s mind to explore the detailing that was really set forward in all of the images printed, framed, and displayed over 8 feet in size. Some of the more popular photos that visitors seem to gather around included Kate Moss, shot in London for Vogue Italia in 2006, and Kate Winslet, shot for V Magazine in 2011. All of the photos presented in the exhibit varied in atmosphere, exposure, historic value, and meaning, dating from 1996 to present day. Various photos included works not only in the likes of world famous magazines, but also served as advertisements for moguls including Gucci and Calvin Klein. As if these photos were not enough to make for an exhilarating exhibit, Testino has also displayed many candid photos of iconic individuals including Anna Wintour, Beyonce Knowles, Donatella Versace, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Tom Ford, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney, Rihanna and Kate Moss casually enjoying the spirits of life and each others’ presence, modestly captured very candidly and comfortably within a black and white photograph. One of the more memorable photographs features famed Vogue editor Anna Wintour in New York, dated in 2004, walking along with her security guards, as they all smile and appear to be in good company as Wintour struts along not far behind, centered in the photo wearing a white fluffy dress displaying the biggest smile of them all. Not too many photographers in our day and age have the ability to have the credibility of capturing meaningful images of the most beautiful and famous individuals listed on a roster of ‘been there, done that.’ Testino perfected the craft of allowing his audience to take and develop their own perspective of what the essence of the night seemed to entail, which is a unique value that is clearly set throughout his photographs.
“The way I work is intuitive, from composing and cropping an image – down to the size of the print and the color and style of the frame. I make certain prints very large to fill the viewers vision, the way a photograph can fill entries on a magazine page,” he said in a ‘food for thought’ quote provided by Testino, which is displayed next to a wall size photo of Gisele Bundchen wearing a disco sequined v-neck dress, holding a light lavender boa, very classically stepping out of a white Bentley.
Other famous faces displayed throughout the gallery included Jenifer Lopez for Vanity Fair, Natalie Portman exposing a different side to her sweet image for V Magazine, Sienna Miller for American Vogue, and Kirsten Dunst exploring vintage roots while posing for V Magazine. Other publications that have featured Testino’s work include Vogue Paris, Dutch Magazine, Chanel advertisements, and British Vogue.  Visitors to the exhibit muttered to one another as they examined the three Andy Warhol inspired halls, which were lined with nothing but star-studded photos. Members of various age groups and ethnicities shared stories with one another ranging from the many photos they have seen in print, films they have seen the photography subjects in, to sightings around Los Angeles that they have heard about throughout the years. If one was not interested in the photographs displayed within the walls of the ‘In Your Face’ exhibit, the topic of an eaves-dropped conversation would make for a lovely afternoon regardless.
“The end product is mine but the work involves a team of collaborators. I see the technical side of photography as just one aspect of the shoot, like I see hair or makeup. I have an idea and convey it through other people’s talents,” says another quote from Testino. “From Cuzco to Los Angeles, or Budapest to Shanghai, my nomadic lifestyle exposes me to every kind of fashion from every kind of fashion and every point of view. It has helped me embrace many cultures, establish my way of seeing, and provide my viewers with an exciting journey.”
The Mario Testino exhibit will be open to MFA visitors from October 21, 2012 to February 3, 2013 located in Gund Gallery, LG31.