He wanted to be a priest, but then he became one of the most famous and loved photographers in the world. We’re talking about Mario Testino, the man who shot hundreds of iconic covers for magazines such as Vogue. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Testino spent his youth in Brazil, then kept moving from city to city, from London to Rome and Milan. Italy for Testino is not only his family’s native country but also the place where he understood what he truly wanted to do with his life, abandoning a career in the church and becoming the photographer that we all know.
Then in 2018 the sexual harassment accusations made by one of the models he worked in the past, abruptly stopped his career.
During the last two years, Testino had a lot of time to immerse himself in his archive, analyzing and cataloguing film rolls, and among them, there were hundreds shot in Italy. “Slowly but with determination, Italy became a big part of my life and my heart. Italy is a country that you have to understand with all your sense,” write Testino in the introduction of his latest project, titled Ciao!
Edited by Taschen, with the contribution of the journalist Alain Elkan, it’s a book that captures Italy through the lens of Testino.
Divided into three different chapters, the book starts with In giro (Wandering around), that captures Italy in the 70s, from working-class districts, streets, religious festivals to work of arts. Follows the chapter dedicated to his career in the fashion industry, Alla moda (In style), among the backstage of the best fashion shows, models, and his nights spent partying with iconic designers and celebrities (such as Valentino, Dolce Gabbana, Monica Bellucci, Franca Sozzani, Anna dello Russo). Lastly Al mare (At the beach), a dreamy section that captures his summers in Italy.
A beautiful gesture made by Testino for our country that at the moment is going through a drastic economic, social and cultural crisis. An Italy that we should not forget or live like a dream, but try to bring back.