Photographer Mario Testino is not known for his landscapes. A permanent feature in big-name fashion magazines and a longtime favorite of the British royal family, Testino is famous for his dreamy portrayal of famous subjects. “I am obsessed by people,” he says generally, as if indifferent to the sheer celebrity of his sitters. “Usually I try to get the girl out of the model instead of the model out of the girl.”
Testino takes a similar approach when shooting lesser-known, less animate subjects. Outside of celebrities, models, and celebrity models, his portfolio features an impressive body of still lifes and landscapes that are as full of personality and persona as his iconic portraits. A sampling of these images will go on display at PRISM Gallery in Los Angeles starting February 26, thoughtfully timed to coincide with the climax of fame-fueled awards-season excitement that is the Oscars.
Presenting these photographs side by side with such notorious images as his Shades portrait of Kate Moss, the exhibition brings to a light an overarching Testino M.O.: full of rich color and hazy, glowing light, Testino captures the sensory appeal in a mundane set of inflatable pool toys as fully as he finds it beneath the heavily made-up façade of a top model—it equalizes the wildly popular and the widely overlooked, and gives both a certain artistic staying power.
“MARIO TESTINO” OPENS AT PRISM LOS ANGELES ON FEBRUARY 26 AND WILL REMAIN ON VIEW THROUGH MARCH 30.