Mario Testino (Peruvian, b. October 30, 1954) is a fashion photographer who was born in Lima, Peru. He is the first of six children born to an Italian father and Irish mother. In his younger years, he aspired to be a priest. Testino attended Universidad Del Pacifico in Lima, where he studied economics, and later went to London in 1976 to study photography. While studying photography in London, he lived in an abandoned apartment and worked as a waiter to pay for his photography classes. During this time, Testino dyed his hair pink to help him get noticed as a photographer. He also attended Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and the University of San Diego.

In 1982, Testino made London his permanent home. His work has been featured all over the world in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, V, and Gucci. Some of his most famous celebrity subjects include Princess Diana and her sons. In 2010, Testino did a photo shoot that featured the son of Princess Diana, Prince William Windsor, and his fiancée, Catherine Middleton. In 2008, he did an elaborate photo spread in Vanity Fair magazine featuring supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista. Testino''s work has helped to contribute to the success of popular fashion houses such as Versace, Gucci, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Estée Lauder, Dolce & Gabbana, and Michael Kors, among others. Portraitsby Mario Testino, was one of his most successful exhibits. It was featured in The National Portrait Gallery in London in 2002. This exhibition held a 10-year record for having the highest attendance of any exhibition featured at this gallery. Portraits was also featured in galleries and museums in Milan, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Mexico City, and Tokyo during a four-year tour.

Testino has also photographed other famous subjects such as Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Elizabeth Hurley, Kate Moss, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, and Julia Roberts. He has received royal commissions that include the Prince of Wales, Prince William, Prince Harry, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, Diana Princess of Wales, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, and many others.

Timeline

Mario Testino was born in Lima, Peru into a family of Irish, Spanish and Italian origins. He attended the American School of Lima and went on to study Economics at the Universidad del Pacifico, Law at the Universidad Catolica and International Relations at the University of San Diego, in San Diego, California. From Peru he moved to London and began his formal training in Photography.
Mario continues to live in London, but he travels extensively shooting for American, British, French, and Italian Vogue, L'Uomo Vogue, and Vanity Fair. He has photographed many celebrities including Madonna, Kim Basinger, Liz Hurley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Janet Jackson, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Diana, Princess of Wales. He has also received special commissions to photograph The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, and Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan.
Mario Testino has contributed to the images of leading fashion houses such as: Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Valentino, Sonia Rykiel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Missoni, Burberry’s and Calvin Klein. He has photographed beauty and fragrance campaigns for Gucci, Clinique, Lancôme, Davidoff, Valentino and Shiseido.

Exhibitions

2008
Starstruck, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West Midlands (England)
2008
Baby, De ideale mens verbeeld 1840 - heden, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
2007
Art Protects, Yvon Lambert - Paris, Paris
2006
Der Pirelli-Kalender: Provokation and Mythos, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
2005
Daumenkino, Kusthalle DUsseldorf, Dusseldorf
2003
'Mario Testino: Disciples', Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
2002
‘Mario Testino’, Charlotte Lund Gallery in Stockholm
2002
‘Mario Testino Portraits', The National Portrait Gallery London, UK. Travelled to: Palazzo Reale Milan, Italy, the Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK
2000
‘Mario Testino’, Vedovi Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
1999
‘Mario Testino’, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, UK
1999
‘Mario Testino’, Visionaire Gallery, New York, USA
1998
‘Mario Testino’, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA
1998
‘Mario Testino’, Fundaçao Armando Alvares Pentendo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1998
‘Mario Testino’, The Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Naples, Italy
1997
‘Mario Testino’, Bunkamura Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Literature

2003
‘Disciples’, interview with Julia Peyton-Jones, published by Timothy Taylor Gallery
2003
Gledhill, Ruth, ‘The Church is in Vogue’, The Times, 23 July, p. 13
2003
Smee, Sebastian, Güner Fisun, ‘For those of Catholic taste’, Metro, 22 July, p. 18
2003
Geldard, Rebecca, ‘Mario Testino: Timothy Taylor’, Time Out London, August 6-13, p. 56
2003
Hallett, ‘Mario Testino / timothy Taylor Gallery’, What's On in London, July 30, p. 24
2001
'Alive', published by Bulfinch
2001
‘Portraits’, published by the National Portrait Gallery (UK) and Bulfinch (worldwide)
1999
‘Front Row / Backstage’, published by Bulfinch
1998
‘Any Objections?’, by Phaidon Press