Visit MATE, Mario Testino’s Foundation

Mario Testino

When Art Meets Fashion: Photographer Mario Testino inaugurates MATE foundation in Lima

A glamorous whirlwind of supermodels, international partygoers and fashion icons, such as Francesca Versace, gladly opted to travel to Peru to celebrate the opening of famed Peruvian photographer Mario Testino’s latest venture, his art foundation MATE. Peru’s flagship cocktail, pisco sour, flowed freely throughout the night, as guests partied in a 19th-century mansion located in Barranco, Lima’s bohemian district par excellence.

The event drew a very stylish crowd, as the celebrity photographer was joined by models Constance Jablonski, Edita Vilkeviciute, Karlie Kloss, Lily Donaldson and Izabel Goulart, clad in a slashed, jaw-dropping Anthony Vaccarello dress, Vogue editors Tonne Goodman and Daniela Falcao, Argentinean TV host and actress Susana Giménez as well as renowned Victoria Secret make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury. Unable to travel to Peru for the celebration, Twilight star Kristen Stewart sent Testino her “best wishes” by video.

Previously shown in Madrid and Rome, “All or Nothing”, Testino’s inaugural exhibit at MATE, brings together a collection of 54 daring and intimate photographs some, unpublished, were taken especially for the exhibit, of celebrities and supermodels, including Sienna Miller, Demi Moore, Claudia Schiffer, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Reese Witherspoon and his top muse, Kate Moss. Described as a “trip from haute couture to nudity”, the exhibit, which runs until December 2012, interweaves two opposing yet complementary directions explored in Testino’s work: fashion and the nude.

The models were “captured in a free-spirited and candid moment, bringing down backdrops and staged poses to create a new perceived freedom,” said Testino, who is famous for photographing musicians Madonna, Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga, top athletes David Beckham and Tom Brady, as well as the British Royal family (including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement photos).

MATE, with its high ceilings, exquisite chandeliers, antique floors, chic and manicured gardens and ornate republican furnishings, showcases the world’s only permanent and largest collection of Testino’s photographic work, as well as contemporary art, emerging Peruvian talents, and the work and collections of the photographer’s close friends, has become an inmediate must see when you Travel to Peru. The non-profit cultural association, which brings international flair and style to Lima, also features a courtyard gallery and stylish café. Specialty quiches, salads and succulent desserts and pastries are offered, as well as coffee, tea and a large selection of appetizers and wines.

Those who travel to Peru and judiciously choose to stopover at MATE can make the most of their time in Lima’s colorful and vibrant seaside Barranco district by visiting other 19th-century house museums, such as Museo Larco, which showcases the finest collection of Pre Colombian art from ancient Peru, and Museo Pedro de Osma, which features religious art and fine pieces of silver. The “Dédalo” art gallery, located in a refurbished 14-room house located just steps away from the Pacific, offers modern and unique handmade ceramic pieces inspired by Inca tradition, designer jewelry, silver objects, blown glass, and the latest in textile design.

“I hope MATE becomes a place where people can come to see my work as well as other works…… to help promote culture and show the world what Peruvian art is”
~Mario Testino on the MATE Foundation

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