He is one of the world’s most illustrious photographers, he is friends with Hollywood stars and supermodels and he is coming to our shores along with his celebrity pals Kate Moss and Mick Jagger.

OK, we may have gotten you a bit too excited there. While Kate Moss and Mick Jagger and a host of other celebrities including Madonna are coming to Dubai, they will be here in picture form only, thanks to famous Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.

For the first time in the Middle East, this spring Mario Testino is bringing his new and exciting exhibition HEAT to Dubai. The aptly named exhibit is part of a collaboration with UAE based GINZA Fashion and curated by Simon and Michaela de Pury, of de Pury de Pury.

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This solo show, which will be displayed in a dedicated pop-up gallery at the heart of Dubai Design District (d3), will bring together Testino’s distinct portfolio including fashion, fine art and portraiture. The latter we are most excited about as Testino’s work allows you to get up close and personal with some of your favourite stars like never before. Essentially it’s like getting on the FROW or on the red carpet at the Oscars.

mario testino heat dubai, Keith-Richards-&-Mick-Jagger


“I am so excited that my work will be exhibited in the Middle East, in Dubai, for the first time,” said Testino. “My endless curiosity has contributed to the diversity of my work, and this curiosity extends to the different cultures, people and places I have explored throughout my career.  Looking at this exhibition I feel you see this and Dubai is a perfect place to present it with its constantly evolving creativity.  I am eager to see and experience the impact that Dubai will make on my work.”

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The idea for HEAT came from a mutual love of art and photography between de Pury de Pury and local arts patron and businessman Khaled AlMheiri, Chairman and Founder of the Ginza Group. The name of the exhibit, however, was coined by Testino himself as a reference to both Dubai and his outlook in life – it’s one full of intensity and vibrancy.

mario testino heat dubai Kate-Moss,-London,-National-Portrait-Gallery,-2002


Khaled AlMheiri said: “Testino’s work is dynamic and fresh; characteristics that are identifiable in Dubai. We have wanted to bring this artist, someone whom I admire greatly, to the Gulf for the first time and give locals the opportunity to see a Testino solo show.”

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While curator Simon de Pury added: “No artist has worked more closely with the main muses of our times such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, Natalia Vodianova and Cara Delevingne. It is in no small measure thanks to Mario Testino’s talent that they have become as potent visual symbols today as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor were in their time.”

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The collection will include already seen works exhibited at museums and galleries internationally as well as more recent pieces that have not previously been on display. As a tribute to Mario Testino’s heritage, HEAT will also include iconic shots from his acclaimed Peru series, Alta Moda.

Mario Testino

Mario Testino with one of his many model pals, Karlie Kloss

Be sure not to miss Mario Testino’s first exhibition in Dubai. HEAT will be open to the public at Dubai Design District (d3) from February 25 to April 15.


EXCLUSIVE: We interviewed Mario Testino ahead of his trip to Dubai. Read our full interview in the March issue of Emirates Woman 

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Images: © MarioTestino and Photography by Benjamin Tietge.