Shake It Up – Highlights from Mario Testino's Collection

Launch Slideshow

As one of the world's most celebrated image makers, Mario Testino has photographed icons of the stage, screen and beyond, including Princess Diana, Kate Moss and Alexander McQueen. As well as contributing show-stopping imagery to fashion houses and magazines such as Gucci, Burberry and Vogue, Testino's discerning eye has allowed him insight in to the world of contemporary art. Curated over the last 25 years, this diverse collection reaches far beyond the medium he is famous for; and includes drawing, painting and sculpture from the most interesting artists working today such as Ugo Rondinone, Wolfgang Tillmans and Elizabeth Peyton. Testino's passion for championing art and artists was reinforced with the opening of Museo MATE, which he launched in Lima in 2012, to bring Peruvian artists to worldwide attention. The museum seeks to facilitate a programme of exhibitions, events and residencies to support cultural activities for the community, in the museum and beyond. The works offered for sale in Shake It Up will directly support the continuation of the work of MATE, and the ongoing dialogue Mario Testino enjoys with visual creative thinkers around the world.

Shake It Up – Highlights from Mario Testino's Collection

  • Richard Prince, Untitled (Girlfriend), 1993.
    Estimate: £350,000–450,000.
    "Richard Prince is somebody who has influenced me a lot in the way that I think", Testino says. "The idea of appropriation for me was a very new thing, because I've always been quite respectful about other people's property, but what I've realised is that he made us look at things that we weren't looking at properly and challenging us to look at things differently". 

  • Sterling Ruby, SP114, 2010. Estimate: £600,000–£800,000.
    "I was so amazed that someone could be so random in his choice of materials, in his proportions, in his work, but that it still had such a power to draw me to it. I quite like this idea of how art can be anything; you don't even need to touch the canvas anymore to produce art." Created using spray paint, SP114 is executed in billboard-like proportions (317.4 x 470cm), echoing the extraordinary magnitude of the artist's vast industrial studio in Los Angeles. 

  • Adriana Varejão, Blue Sauna, 2003.
    Estimate: £400,000–£600,000.
    The cool, contemporary tile interiors and colour gradations in Varejão's Blue Sauna reflect Testino's own explorations of the formal qualities of image making; light, colour, and composition. "In the sauna paintings, I deal with very classical topics of painting — paint, colour, tone, perspective, and so on. There is an ambiguous atmosphere, a suspended narrative in these paintings", Varejão said in an interview with the Huffington Post. Always deeply connected and engaged with the artists whose work he collects, in 2017 Testino filmed a video tour of Varejão’s Rio de Janeiro studio for his website, exploring the artist’s continued fascination with ceramic materials and traditions.

  • Vik Muñiz, Santa Ludovica, 1998.
    Estimate: £25,000–£35,000.
    The Brazilian artist and photographer Muñiz is known for using everyday materials to create imaginative recreations of art historical masterpieces. Santa Ludovica, 1998, is a reimagining of Bernini's Baroque masterwork Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, with the sculpture rendered here in chocolate syrup. Muñiz applied the same process to one of Testino's photographs, transforming a portrait shot for V Magazine in 2002. Muñiz is one of numerous artists who have taken Testino's photographic output and applied various artistic media and processes to produce recreations, collages and photo series. 

  • Elizabeth Peyton, Pink (Spencer) (Three), 2002.
    Estimate: £15,000–£20,000.
    Testino is renowned for his defining portraits of the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna and Kate Moss. His exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery broke the record for the gallery’s most attended exhibition, with curator Terence Pepper labelling Testino "the John Singer Sargent of our times". It is therefore no surprise that portraiture should be a recurring theme that runs throughout the Shake It Up collection. Like Testino, the American artist Elizabeth Peyton is known for her stylised portraits of celebrities, royalty, and fellow artists.

  • Ugo Rondinone, No.211, Dreizehnterseptemberzweitausendundn Ull, 2000. Estimate: £150,000–£250,000.
    With the paint sprayedrather than brushed onto his canvas, Rondinone's chromatically vivid concentric rings become hazy, almost melting away at their edges to create an apparent depth and texture which builds a visual complexity for the physically flat work. The Swiss-born artist has also taken the work of Testino as inspiration. With Testino's permission, Rondinone recreated a series of portraits of Eva Herzigova , previously published in The Face in 1997, by posing himself in the role of Herzigova. 

  • Thomas Ruff, Nudes Er21, 2000.
    Estimate: £12,000–£18,000.
    "Thomas Ruff really opened my eyes because, in photography, we were so driven by perfection; making it look good, properly lit and exposed and properly composed, and he is deconstructing images to their most basic pixels", Testino says. "I am constantly being challenged to look differently at the things I've been taught, when actually if you do completely the opposite, you might be better off."

  • Jacqueline Humphries, Pile, 2008.
    Estimate: £25,000–£35,000.
    Through the application of swathes of silver and black paint, Humphries' large-scale abstract canvases create dramatic contrasts and light effects. "I think a painter's first job is to get someone to look at a painting," Humphries says. "Perhaps it's about motion and light. Having a heightened sense of the painting changing in front of your eyes gives it an almost cinematic quality — light moves across the surface and makes new images before your eyes."


We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.