Photographer Mario Testino Gives a Tour of His Museum in Peru

Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino recently gave a tour of his museum in Lima, Peru to Hamish Bowles, the editor for the American edition of Vogue magazine. Testino appears to have recorded this short video tour on a just a cell phone, but he briefly takes you through each room of his museum, MATE, which first opened in 2012, but was just recently renovated, and he shared the newly restored museum with the public last week.

MATE, which is only a few blocks away from where I live here in Lima, is a mansion that was originally constructed in 1898 in the district of Barranco, right here in the capital. Testino purchased the mansion and turned into a place for him to not only display a permanent exhibition of his own photography, but also an area to showcase other Peruvian artists work in a temporary space.

Each room of MATE is dedicated and broken up into different themes from Testino's career.

The first room is for what he describes as, groups, basically only photographs that he took which contain many people in a single image. He says how these types of shots are a headache, because of the difficulty getting so much wardrobe and outfits right, and than jokingly points out one of the photos hanging where everyone is nude.

He than enters the next room, where only photos pertaining to music are displayed. He talks briefly about how fashion photography went from using super models, to actors, and now they are mostly using musicians.

He continues on, where the following area showcases solely party photos. Here Testino compares taking photos at a party to being a cowboy and drawing your gun, and getting out your camera to grab a moment that is only there for a thousandth of a second.

Into the next corridor you will only see images he dedicated to the young and new girls of fashion. He describes these  photoshoots as a lot fun to do, especially of an image he did with a model together with a real bear.

After that comes the video room, wheres videos explaining his process are played. He said he added this to the museum during the renovation process after requests from the public.

The final area is dedicated to basically his travel photography. Here you will see his photos ranging from Wyoming all the way to Morocco. This is personally my favorite part of MATE, as traveling is my passion, and I absolutely love photographing people as well. One day I would be more than happy to even accomplish a small fraction of what Testino has done in this genre.

I know most of the people reading this most likely will never visit Peru, but if you do, this museum is definitely a place to check out while you are in town. So in the mean time, just enjoy the short video Testino made until you can make it down here to South America.


Dustin Levine's picture

Dustin Levine is an american photographer, originally from New York, but currently living and working in Peru for the past five years.

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