MATE is the gallery of world renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.
Mario Testino is most well known for his photography in the world of fashion, from magazines such as Vogue to superbly successful advertising campaigns for huge fashion houses. He is also famous for being commissioned to photograph the Royal Family in the UK, including Princess Diana.
MATE is located in a beautiful building in the district of Barranco and it exhibits some of his photographs from throughout his career.
It is comprised of 8 rooms, each displaying only a few of his beautiful photographs, and the first three are dedicated to specific women who were important or influential to him.
^ Kate Moss
The fourth displays Hollywood celebrities or ‘Stars’ such as Brad Pitt and Reese Witherspoon.
Reese’s dress is incredible; such a vivid red.
The fifth room covers ‘Groups’.
^ See how many of these you can name!?
How about these GB ladies?
Room number six is reserved for the native people of Peru.
This is a room of absolutely stunning photographs taken of Peruvians in traditional dress, displayed under the title of ‘Alta Moda’ (High Fashion). This title not only represents Testino’s background in fashion photography, and the clothing displayed here, but also the fact that these clothes are worn by people in the high mountains around Cusco.
Heading outside into a small courtyard you can either enter gallery 7, the gift shop or follow the path round to gallery 8 and Café MATE.
Or perhaps you want to just sit back and enjoy the tranquility before moving on….
Gallery seven is for temporary exhibitions, and when I attended it was showing Andy Warhol: Film Portraits; clips of Warhol’s films and screen tests. You are even able to make your own screen test in the back of the gallery, behind the screens.
Skipping past the gift shop, for now, enter gallery 8 next to the café and into a space dedicated to Princess Diana.
These photos were taken not long before she died, and all the money that was made from them were given directly to charity in honour of her.
The room consists of large framed photographs on the walls, one of the featured dresses on display and a bench of chairs that was used in a display in London (not for sitting on!).
After you have soaked up all you can from Testino’s work, now is the time to peruse the gift shop.
Perhaps you can buy a print of your favourite portrait.
Or even a jigsaw!
Then, take a break in Café MATE before heading home.
This is a very beautiful cafe and restaurant, and is perfect anytime of the day from brunch, to lunch, to tea and cake.
We stopped for a spot of brunch on a Saturday afternoon!
Well, brunch for me with my juice and Peruvian style Eggs Benedict…
…consisting of a pan francés topped with juicy pork, a hollandaise sauce and a poached egg.
However it was lunch for him, with a beef sandwich and coffee.
We started by ordering some bread with an oil and balsamic dipping plate. This was a good choice and they definitely did not skimp on the bread! The menu is very well priced and they even have an ever changing Menu Ejecutivo for S/14, which includes two courses (plus any sides like rice or veg) and a drink. Check out their Facebook page for this daily menu.
The café has a very European feel about it, but the artwork is strictly Peruvian, with the prints actually being close-ups of areas of the Peruvian banknotes. (It took a little while for me to figure that out!)
We went on a Saturday and the gallery only had about 7 other people visiting whilst we were wandering through, and then a couple more groups in the café afterwards. This made for an extremely tranquil and relaxing lunch time trip.
MATE is small but perfectly formed, although I would obviously love to see more of Testino’s work displayed here, as I find his photography so stunning to look at.
I highly recommend a trip here during your visit to Lima, but make sure you save a space for a little something in the café too.
(In fact, I just saw the most incredible looking Lemon Meringue Pie on their Facebook page so I now need another visit!).
MATE – Av. Pedro de Osma 409, Barranco.
Entrance is S/15 (discounts available for students etc)
Café MATE is open from 11.00am – 7.00pm Tues – Sun (it closes 1 hour before the gallery does)
There is car parking behind the museum but, in case the doors are closed, take the number of the reception so you can call them to let you in!! However, there is bicycle parking at the entrance to the museum, so cycle if you can!
The Andy Warhol : Film Portraits exhibit is only open until March 15th 2015, but the rest of MATE is permanent.