Mario Testino - Photographs London Friday, May 19, 2023 | Phillips
  • “Mario took me to a new level of glamour. I don’t think anybody had seen me as any kind of sexy model before he did. He was the one that transformed me. Before him I was just a grungy girl, but he saw me differently.”
    —Kate Moss 

    The indelible supermodel Kate Moss has been captured by innumerable photographers across the globe. Yet, she remembers her sessions with Mario Testino (b.1954) with extreme fondness: ‘I have grown up with him photographing me — we have grown up together in a sense. The trust between us means that we are free with each other, he does not trap me into a set way of being, we find the picture together.’ The current lot presents a candid Moss whose natural beauty shines through Testino’s understated composition. On deciding to shoot Moss without the glitz and glamour of a fashion studio, Testino recalls, ‘When I see Kate Moss out and about, I think she looks more beautiful than when her hairdresser and make-up artist try and make her look like something else.’ 


    This life-size portrait was originally shot in Los Angeles for the April 1996 publication of Harper’s Bazaar. Inspired by his childhood on the shores of Peru, Testino states how glancing at this photograph immediately transports him back home: ‘this is the image that reminds me the most of my early days of youth because I used to go to Punta Hermosa, a surfer beach in the south of Lima and everything happened around the surf world.’  


    Hailed for his extraordinary capability to seize intimate moments, Testino surprises the viewer with unseen shots of the most recognisable faces. Testino’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Shanghai Art Museum; MALBA, Buenos Aires; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Alongside his 40-year practice as a photographer, Testino was awarded the Grand Cross Order of Merit in 2010, one of the highest honours in his native country of Peru, as well as the Order of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of his remarkable career and charity work. 

    • Provenance

      Directly from the artist

    • Literature

      Harper's Bazaar, April 1996, n.p.
      A. Shulman & P. Kinmonth, Mario Testino: Portraits, New York: Bulfinch, 2002, pl. 33



Kate Moss, Los Angeles, Harper’s Bazaar

Chromogenic print, printed later, mounted.
Image: 160 x 128 cm (62 7/8 x 50 3/8 in.)
Frame: 167 x 135 cm (65 3/4 x 53 1/8 in.)

Signed in ink, printed title, date, number AP1 and copyright credit reproduction limitation on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the mount. One from a sold-out edition of 3 + 2 APs.

Full Cataloguing

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £40,640

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London Auction 19 May 2023