Mario Testino's largest book to date, Sir, is a visual feast starring David Beckham, Josh Hartnett, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and David Bowie
While its cover image seems to suggest otherwise, Mario Testino's book represents more than just eye candy, and it definitely isn't one that's purely for sexual objectification. The Peruvian photographer is synonymous with bringing glamour, intrigue, and sensuality into his photographs which have ranged from flashy billboards of Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Versace and Valentino as well as private moments in his Towel Series and portraits of dignitaries such as the late Princess Diana. In Sir, first published by TASCHEN last year (and originally priced at a whopping US$1,000), the 62-year-old collates the best of his works on men. A new edition retailing at US$69.99 (read: Attainable goals) has pushed this to the top of our wishlists.
"You could see this whole book as a sort of conversation with my camera about curiosity and freedom," says Testino. Chronicling three decades of male beauty over 300 photographs, the book seeks to study how male identity has evolved. Personalities in film, music, fashion and sports merge in this massive tome, Testino's largest to date. You'll marvel at how forward-thinking David Bowie's androgynous spirit was, as well as admire the flamboyance in rockers such as Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Masculinity is redefined time and again as society progresses, and Testino's been there to document them all.
See snippets from Sir below, along with quotes pulled from his interview with artist Patrick Kinmoth. Treat. Your. Self.
"I think David Beckham's attitude to his own looks and body, his fearlessness of wearing interesting clothes and his tattoos, have had an enormous effect on the way men in general feel about how they dress and who they can be and how they present themselves."
"I am obviously interested in sex! I like sensuality and a certain mystery of sexuality. I am not interested in the hard pornographic image as such... That exists for one purpose only, which is nothing to do with the purpose of my work. I am much more interested to create an image which suggests many erotic possibilities. I think that makes a picture have a longer life. In the end I think arousing someone's curiosity is more interesting than arousing someone sexually."
"We have a lot of standard expectations and conventional ideas that build up in our minds over the years. That extends to ideas of what is and what is not supposedly 'good taste' and what is or is not seen as 'manly.' I think we need to be conscious that we should not be too defined by these things."
Sir is published by TASCHEN. To purchase, click here.