MARIO TESTINO is a commercial artist. His photos are well-crafted celebrity photos — not art. To give him his own career retrospective exhibit is a depressing sign of the times. The exhibit will draw crowds, but it is not work that deserves to take up space in a museum of fine art.
Is MFA senior curator of photographs Anne Havinga attempting to justify the exhibit when she says "the Testino images have an “amazing vitality”? True, but is amazing vitality criterion for a major exhibit? I assume that she would rather be showing the work of contemporary or classic photographic fine artists, and that she knows, but cannot say, that showing Testino’s celebrity photos pays the rent.