Field Trip :: MFA and Mario Testino Exhibit

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
Written by Alyce Packard, BID Candidate

Before visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Boston the other day, I had never heard of Mario Testino. He was born in Peru, is now based in London, and he is now one of the world's most prominent fashion and celebrity photographers. He is known for his portraits of international super stars including Tom Brady, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jennifer Anniston, Kate Moss, and Courtney Love and he has published in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and V.

"With intimacy and audacity, and keen awareness of his audience, Testino bridges the worlds of fashion and art."

Photo taken by Alyce Packard

This exhibit shows the full range of Testino's photographic work. Testino was involved with the selection and layout of the works. He includes nudes with fashion, portraits with private snapshots, and black and white with color. The pictures are framed with simple monochromatic frames, with bold pops of color against the clear turquoise wall. Most of the prints rest on a ledge and some are pinned so the wall so that you get the informal feel of a studio workshop. 

"I want to surprise, to show the unexpected. I push boundaries-to provoke, to break down perfection, to find the unique moment. That’s what makes the photograph work for me." -Mario Testino

One of my favorite pictures was of a girl drinking Chanel perfume through a straw. She was naked except for a small black belt around her waist, she had perfect black bangs that came down and covered her face, perfect makeup, and she just overall looked flawless and thin. I think the way he did this was very clever, it’s like she's drinking this really expensive perfume like a juice box. She’s feeding her body with brand names, her body is theirs for them to take and dress how they want. There’s nothing identifying about her because you can't see her eyes and she's all made up, she’s just a doll or a mannequin. 

"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 a shoot, like I see hair or makeup. I have an idea and convey it through other people’s talents." -Mario Testino

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Although I went to the MFA to see Testino's exhibit, I also saw the new addition they added on. From the inside, I couldn't even tell they added anything, it was a seamless transition. The new addition is the Art of the America's wing. The new wing features 53 new galleries and it covers more than 121,307 square feet. 

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They also added a courtyard. You walk from the main cafe area through a small hallway which cuts through the courtyard and leads into the Art of the America's wing. It's a nice little breath of fresh air going through the hall and interacting with the landscape.

BAC students get in for free with your student id. Head on over to the MFA to take a breather from finals or during winter break. It is located at 465 Huntington Avenue.