Take a stroll down Pedro de Osma in Barranco, and you’ll most likely notice the stately cream-colored mansion at block four. This is the home of MATE the Asociación Mario Testino. Created by the renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino who rose to fame as a fashion photographer, MATE is meant to be a creative space to promote dialogue between contemporary international and local artists. MATE opened its doors in 2012 and has had ongoing exhibitions since then.
In the past, MATE’s exhibitions mostly centered around photographic works, including those of Testino himself. For example, last year’s exhibition, Alta Moda “high fashion,” was a series of Testino’s photographs of traditional outfits from remote Andean regions.
The latest exhibition, Somos Libres “We Are Free,” showcases the work of various contemporary artists from around the world, including a small selection of Testino’s work. All of the varied works are gathered around the unifying theme that even the most mundane items, such as old chewing gum, pieces of tin foil, or a crushed soda can, can become works of art. Instead of in the past, where art was only considered noteworthy if it was created with a brush, paint, and a canvas, the exhibition is designed to push the boundaries of what might be considered “art.”
The exhibition included pieces such as an outline of the Mona Lisa done in peanut butter and jelly a collage of broken mirror pieces and outlines of eyes, and a partial photograph of David Bowie. Though these different works were created using different techniques and materials, some of which might be considered trash if taken out of context, they are united in the idea that art is a free space for expression, open to all voices and forms of expression.
*Somos Libres will be open until April 6. MATE is open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the front entrance for 15 soles (adults).* MATE introduces a new exhibition. Somos Libres is bright, loud, and sure to get your attention.