Mario Testino is widely considered as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographer of our time. his photographs have been published in the most prestigious magazines, featured in world renowned galleries and museums and have contributed to the success of great beauty and fashion houses, crafting emblematic images for luxury brands. After an incredible 40 years long career, Testino has helped stars, top models and artists, as well as international royal families to leave their mark on history. he has notably eternalized Diana, Princess of wales for Vanity Fair just before her death in 1997. Testino is famous for the extraordinary way with which he captures the most private of moments, creating intimate portraits that shine a new light on famous faces.
Born in Peru, son of a business man, young Mario was drawn to follow a religious path and wished to be ordained as a priest. he changed his mind, believing his calling to be somewhere else and flew to London in 1976 where he learned to be a photographer and began his career. In order to build himself a reputation and make a little money, he offered little known models to build them a portfolio for 25 pounds. On the side, he made a living through a series of odd jobs. he dyed his hair pink and began to be noticed by the fashion industry for his well crafted and graphic pictures. At barely the age of 30, his name was on the lips of the greatest stars. he worked with the major celebrities, actors and artists of the time. Madonna boosted his career by hiring him for her own marketing campaigns. Mario Testino was then commissioned by the gianni Versace house, who didn’t hesitate to recommend him throughout the fashion industry. Receiving praises from all sides, the photographer was also asked by the royal family to immortalize princess Diana. Mario Testino will have more crowned heads to his list, such has Rania of Jordan or even prince Charles. These days, his work is known for its audacity and his out of the ordinary advertisement campaigns. More than a couple of
dozen exhibits and books have dedicated to him. Testino possesses an artistic vocabulary that reaches beyond cultures and genres, mixing masculinity and femininity, and captures all individuals and places with the same vision. The result is an incredible body of work that documents a kaleidoscopic catalog of civilizations throughout the world. Testino had conducted numerous projects as an art director, an editor, an art collector, a philanthropist and the founder of a museum in Lima. MATE – The Museum that Mario Testino founded in 2012 with the goal to contribute to promoting the south-American culture and heritage in his country, Peru. Awarded with the OBE in 2013 in honor of his career and contribution to his charity, he was also nominated to one of the greatest honors his country of origin could offer, The grand Cross rank of the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service in Peru, and became president of the world Monument fund in Peru in 2014. In 2017, Mario Testino was awarded with the Legion d’honneur. Parallel to his career as a photographer, Mario Testino works for charity foundations such as Save the Children, AmfAR, the Elton John Aids Foundation and CLIC Sargent. In October of 2016, Mario Testino, in collaboration with Natalia Vodianova who founded the Naked heart Foundation, inaugurated the “Parques Teresita” playground in order to help the building of a society more open towards disabled people or with special needs, by encouraging playful activities and creating free support groups for underprivileged families. In 2019, a second Parques Teresita was launched in Ayacucho, in the municipality of huamanga.
with series such as Beauty and the Beast, his portraits of princes and princesses, editorials in castles, legendary women over foggy lakes or plateaux in dreamlike landscapes, Mario Testino has taken inspiration from tales and legends all while reshaping them with a new creativity.