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Gucci’s Ode to Testino

Culture Watch
Mario Testino in Elliott Hundley’s studio, New York, 2008 Photographed by Elliot Hundley.

This summer, as you’re planning your Italian holiday, consider a stop in Turin where Gucci has sponsored an exhibition of work from the private collection of the celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino, on view at Pinacoteca Agnelli.

“SOMOS LIBRES II” features works from Testino’s personal art collection, curated by Neville Wakefield, including pieces by Tauba Auerbach, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Glenn Ligon, Jonathan Monk, Ugo Rondinone, Cindy Sherman, Adriana Varejão and Andy Warhol.

Translated from Spanish meaning “We Are Free,” “SOMOS LIBRES II” was presented for the first time in 2013 at MATE, Mario Testino’s cultural institution in Lima, Peru. For that first exhibition, “SOMOS LIBRES” explored Testino’s interest in the works of established artists such as Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Paul McCarthy alongside works by lesser-known and emerging artists from his native Peru.

The current exhibition continues to explore the idea of creative freedom that is an essential part of the between art and the worlds of commercial and fashion photography. There’s also an underlying theme of how we interpret the world through a photographic lens as much as we do the naked eye. This theme is explored in the first part of the exhibition, which is compiled of images culled from Testino’s many studio visits throughout his career.

The idea of freedom is in this sense immediately conveyed as the doors open, first to the artist’s studio and then to the art it yields and reveals. The installation is nontraditional in its approach and reads more like the way one experiences a magazine. Within this space, Testino’s own images are presented as if the pages of a three-dimensional magazine, merging the perspectives of both his eye and collection.

The exhibition runs through September 14, so if Italy in the Summer isn’t on your agenda, perhaps you can work it into your Fashion Week schedule, instead.

All images courtesy of Somos Libres II at the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, 17th May – 14th September 2014.

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