Mario Testino’s glamorous world of fashion comes to Boston.
The MFA has really upped it’s game in terms of contemporary culture over the past 10 years or so, and the Mario Testino show is continuing proof. The show really rocks!
The gallery that houses the exhibit is very dark — walls and ceiling painted black. Each photograph is spotlighted to absolutely pop off the dark walls. And the photographs are HUGE! They appear life-size or almost life-size, so they have incredible presence. As you enter each room, you have a tantalizing view of some of the photos flanking the entrance to the next room. I was so overwhelmed (in a good way), I didn’t know what to look at first. Taking in the gigantic portraits and the smaller “candid”, behind-the-scenes shots at private parties, you feel like you’re right there amongst his glamorous world of supermodels, actors, musicians, and athletes.
I’m familiar with Mario Testino primarily through his work for Vogue, and there were quite a few photos from Vogue on view, including a number of Victorian era fantasies that I assume were art directed per Grace Coddington’s beautiful retro visions. In addition, there were a number of photos featuring models in red dresses that were to-die-for. The portrait of Reese Witherspoon in a red ball gown was an extravaganza in red.
Based on his name, I always thought Testino was Italian, and perhaps his ancestors were. But I learned from friends, last night at dinner, that he’s from Peru. There were several gorgeous photos of models photographed with Peruvian women dressed in native clothing with their traditional black fedoras in what appears to be the Peruvian countryside. When I saw the show, I thought it was just another exotic locale, but now the setting appears a personal choice by the artist.
For those of us from Boston, our hometown royalty was well represented with incredible photos of the incomparable Gisele Bundchen and a couple of her man and our hero, Tom Brady.
Since this blog focuses on beauty for women over 40, I must mention THE photo from Vanity Fair, 2008 of six of the fabulous supermodel glamazons of the 1990s — Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, and Stephanie Seymour — reunited to pose for Testino wearing Dolce & Gabbana flesh-colored and diaphanous dresses. No skeletons here. Real women, in their late 30s and early 40s, looking just as amazing as they did when they were on every magazine cover…can it really be almost 20 years ago?
Go see this show at the MFA, and check out Mario Testino’s portraits of the Royal Family while you’re there. “In Your Face” runs till February 3, 2013.