There was a time when the idea of a high visibility celebrity fashion photographer’s works adorning the walls of Boston’s hallowed Museum of Fine Arts was anathema to fine arts orthodoxy. But then came the Herb Ritts exhibition (his foundation later sent some dollars the MFA’s way, thus there is a gallery named in his honor) in 1996 followed a few years later by a Ralph Lauren Car Collection exhibition and a steady procession of plutocratic playtoys exhibits.
Which brings me to the MFA”S new exhibition In your Face which is something of a career retrospective by Mario Testino. If you are a habitué of the glossy magazine world (Vogue, Vanity Fair et al ), Testino’s photos should be familiar to you— Kate Moss, Stephanie Seymour, Tom Brady’s spouse, Gisele Bündchen, along with Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Lady Gaga and David Beckham—among others. There are also nudes, party picture snapshots, interiors and all manner of luxurious imagery.
Having given up hanging around museums since my misspent youth at Chicago’s Art Institute, I can’t attest to the worthiness of Testino’s as wall art. .Which is why I am content to peruse the 200 plus page 11 x14 tome (Taschen)that serves as the exhibition catalogue for “In Your face.” As a great lover of magazines I don’t think it is faint praise to point out that this well designed and printed book is after all the appropriate venue for Testino’s work
Currently reading Boss Rove by Craig Unger (Scribner)