Normally I’m not attracted to photography when I go to a museum. When I go to a museum I want to lose myself in the paintings of the masters, revel at the textures and at the precision. So when I went to Mario Testino’s In Your Face photography exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this past week, I was taken aback by how absolutely enthralled I was.
Testino is a master of his trade. With the lightest touch, he captures the humanity of famous celebrities, beauties and actors. Yet on the flip side, he also uses bright colors and shocking imagery to capture the over-the-top nature of the entertainment industry. Testino walk a fine line between the absurd and reality, but he walks it like a master.
I found that as I stood in a darkened room staring up at the massive pictures of famous celebrities, beauties and worldwide icons, I was pulled into the photos. I wanted to know these people. I wanted to see them in real life, even if they revolted me. In some cases, I even wanted to be them. Testino successfully pulled me into their lives and engaged my complete attention.
In addition to his In Your Face exhibit, there was a much quieter and more personal exhibit in another part of the museum. The exhibit featured the royal family of England like I had never seen them before. Testino had the unique opportunity to photograph them away from the public eye. Allowed to be up close and personal with them, he was able to capture very personal and intimate moments that were fascinating to behold. As I stood there, gazing at these pictures of daily routine and family life, mysterious figures of popular culture became human for me. It was breathtaking.
So, if you have the chance, I thoroughly recommend wandering over to the MFA and checking out the exhibit. It’s absolutely worth your time.