Mario Testino: Let Me in (英語) ハードカバー – 2007/10
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As one of the 21st century's most travelled, acclaimed, and influential fashion photographers, Mario Testino has unsurpassed access to the most magnetic stars of popular culture. For some time now, he has been collecting a personal archive of off-screen moments, often snatched spontaneously before, during, and after more official sittings for Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Testino's many clients in the world of fashion. The result is a portrait not just of a generation of the most wanted and talked-about, but an invitation to be part of the backstage parties and unstaged moments of Testino's life. Sometimes offbeat, but always on the pulse, Let me in!, with Testino's eye for a modern kind of elegance liberated from conventional polish, is a new chapter from the photographer who has already made his mark with the books "Any Objections", "Front Row Backstage", "Alive", "Portraits", "Kids", "Diana Princess of Wales", and numerous exhibitions and publications worldwide. Features of this work include: an introduction by Michael Roberts, fashion director of Vanity Fair; a foreword by Nicole Kidman; and, 300 pages in color and black and white featuring more than 100 contemporary stars.
Peruvian-born Mario Testino is currently based in London, though he travels extensively shooting for Vanity Fair, American, British, French and Italian Vogue, and GQ. Other clients include Estee Lauder, Burberry, and Versace. Galleries around the globe from Japan to Italy to the USA have featured his solo exhibitions and his work is held in collections of many institutions worldwide, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, V&A Museum in London, and New York University. Mario is an Honorary Doctor of the University of the Arts London and has recently received the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of fashion and entertainment.
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'Let Me In' is a wonderful piece of high profile celebrity photo collection, which tends to catch its subjects in parties, social gatherings, or behind the scenes at fashion shoots or editorials. It is rough, time-to-time feels out of focus as a collection: more like a photo album of a photographer's 'work in progress' pile. Some photos were the ones that I had seen before here and there, but most are fresh from the oven. It may seem decidedly fame-obsessed to look at the photos of these actors and models that only display their general celebrity magnetism and magnificence, and one may ask what the difference is between this book and let's say some junk like the People magazine. And it is this: these photos do take joy in their pop culture value in a tongue-in-cheek way. They are loud, illuminated, skin-deep yet joyful. They do not take themselves so seriously, yet the book has no excuse about its existence other than it's demanding title: LET ME IN!
It is a naughty, almost forbidden, and intimate collection.
I love it. I love the roughness of the photos, how generous Testino is, and how wonderfully 'generic' most of the photos look. In a way, they are very much Warhol-ian, and in another way they are the direct opposite to what the 'celebrity' stood for in Warhol's world. It does not mean to say anything special. It is what Testino does best: beautiful people, a lot of skin and a surprising sense of intimacy. I highly recommend the book for anyone who appreciates the perception of a high fashion photographer on celebrity, and the slight obsession that we may all be in.