The work of renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino will be exhibited for the first time in the Middle East this Spring in a collaboration with UAE based GINZA Fashion and curated by Simon and Michaela de Pury, of de Pury de Pury. Housed in a dedicated pop-up gallery at the heart of Dubai Design District (d3), the exhibition will open to the public on the 25th of February and run through the 15th of April. This solo show, entitled HEAT, brings together works showing Testino’s distinct oeuvre, at the crossroads of portraiture, fashion and fine art.

Commenting on the exhibition Mario Testino said “I am so excited that my work will be exhibited in the Middle East, in Dubai, for the first time. My endless curiosity has contributed to the diversity of my work, and this curiosity extends to the different cultures, people and places I have explored throughout my career. Looking at this exhibition I feel you see this and Dubai is a perfect place to present it with its constantly evolving creativity. I am eager to see and experience the impact that Dubai will make on my work.”

Mario Testino is a photographer with a 35-year career and works at the height of his industry. Testino’s oeuvre resonates worldwide and his work has been exhibited at some of the world’s leading institutions. Testino’s unique style and intuitive ability to capture moments and create emotional connections have made him one of the most well known photographers in the world. The idea for HEAT was borne out of a meeting of minds and mutual love of art and photography between de Pury de Pury and local arts patron and businessman Khaled AlMheiri, Chairman and Founder of the Ginza Group. They have collaborated to bring Testino’s work and creative influence to Dubai at a time when the city’s creative industries are accelerating.

Khaled AlMheiri said: “Testino’s work is dynamic and fresh; characteristics that are identifiable in Dubai. We have wanted to bring this artist, someone whom I admire greatly, to the Gulf for the first time and give locals the opportunity to see a Testino solo show. I am delighted that d3 will be the location for the exhibition and hope that visitors will appreciate the art as much as I do. We have a responsibility to celebrate the Arts and I am proud to be a part of this first-time project that brings Testino to our community of artists, enthusiasts, patrons, budding photographers and art collectors in the UAE.”

Curator Simon de Pury said of the show: “Mario Testino is probably the most successful and best known photographer alive today. Moreover, he is a man of multiple talents who is equally gifted as an artist, a photographer, a discerning contemporary art collector, philanthropist, interior decorator, brand consultant and market maker. No artist has worked more closely with the main muses of our times such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, Natalia Vodianova and Cara Delevingne. It is in no small measure thanks to Mario Testino’s talent that they have become as potent visual symbols today as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor were in their time.

Testino’s commercial success has not happened at the detriment of the artistic quality of his work. He always explores new ways to express himself and doesn’t stick to a formula. Mario Testino’s work is all about energy, the now and a positive outlook on life. I am thrilled that his work is being exhibited for the first time in Dubai a city that conveys the same spirit.”

The title for the show, HEAT, was coined by Mario himself. It is a shorthand reference to both the Dubai setting and also for his outlook, intensity, and vibrancy. HEAT will be a dynamic public exhibition that will contribute to the evolving and burgeoning creative landscape of Dubai and inspire the photographic community. The collection consists of a variety of works many that have been widely exhibited at museums and galleries internationally alongside more recent pieces that have not previously been exhibited. Lastly, iconic shots of his acclaimed Peru series, Alta Moda, have been included as a tribute to his roots and the strong bond that links him to his home country.


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