“I think you almost have to buy what attracts you and at the same time confuses you. You need to shake it up!” Partnering with Sotheby’s, Mario is auctioning over 300 pieces from his diverse personal collection, to benefit MATE – Museo Mario Testino in Lima. Featuring the likes of Sterling Ruby, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, ‘Shake It Up’ takes place on 13-14 September in London. Below, Mario shares his top ten highlights, exclusively for Mira Mira.
MT: I love the Richard Price biker; the work is incredible. I have a lot of art and this work is one of my favourites. I’ve lived with it hanging above my bed at home for many years. When I saw it, I was amazed at his ability to appropriate a photograph, and make it different - to make it entirely his own. Richard Prince has been particularly interesting for me, because he challenges me. He’s somebody who has influenced me a lot in the way that I think. The idea of appropriation for me was a very new thing, because I’ve always been quite respectful about other people’s property. What I’ve realised is that he made us look at things that we weren’t looking at properly, and challenged us to look at things differently.
MT: I admire anyone that can create iconic images. The way she takes on different personas is intriguing - she reinvented herself with every show and work.
MT: I’ve had the Gilbert & George hanging in my home and almost didn’t let it go! I don’t know how I can communicate how hard it is for me to part with all the work. It’s a big exercise to detach yourself from your belongings in order to satisfy greater ambitions.
MT: Thomas Ruff really opened my eyes. In photography, we are so driven by perfection; making it look good, properly lit, properly exposed, and properly composed - but he deconstructs images to their most basic pixels. That becomes the art form, which I think is an amazing way to work. 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.
MT: I love her work. The looseness, the eroticism, and the idea that you can never really tell exactly what's going on.
MT: My body of work is varied and I look for and at different things. Not all my images are so glamorous - the same is true of the collection. At the beginning, I was collecting photography and this was a sort of toolbox. I wanted to know what had come before, so that I could make the next thing. The photographs I was collecting fed into what I was shooting, but in an indirect way. The biggest lesson I learned collecting was to challenge myself. I applied this to my work, or maybe I learned to challenge myself in my working life, and then applied it to the collection. I forget which! They all merge into one.
MT: Sterling Ruby, he’s an artist who works a lot with Raf Simons. When I looked at the engraving, I couldn’t really understand it and then I went to do a studio visit in Los Angeles - I couldn’t believe the space he took. Artists work in so many different ways, this artist is traditional but of course these things get into your brain and they start to come out, questioning what we are looking at…
MT: This used to be in my office! A great, conceptual artist with a fascinating and inquisitive mind.
MT: Easy is boring! Sometimes, I would see a work and not like it. But then I'd ask myself why, and come back to it; why did I have this response? Then I'd look again and again, and it would change. Some of the works that I had problems with are now my favourites. I think that's important. To challenge yourself and your eye. I do the same with my work. Easy things are forgettable. I want to create images that last and to do that, they can't be easy.
MT: I’ve loved Eddie’s works from the beginning. He’s a true artist of varied vocabulary. Fun, vibrant, and colourful (and from London where I live). Images © Sotheby's