The Macallan, the ultimate luxury spirit distributed by Maxxium UK, has revealed Mario Testino as its fifth Master of Photography. Launching today (12 November) in the UK, The Macallan brings to life its foundation stones, The Six Pillars, through the eyes of the world’s most prolific portrait and fashion photographer. The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition sees him interpret The Six Pillars through the characterisation of six individual personalities in his distinct, inimitable and luxurious style.
The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition is The Macallan’s most inspired to date, with the whisky bringing together six different casks to showcase the ultimate complexity. Each of these six perfect whiskies is the definitive representation of one of the Six Pillars. They each have their own definitive character, flavour and aroma which when brought together; create the perfect single malt with unparalleled depth, darkness and diversity.
The Master Whisky Maker personally selected these six unique casks from over 200,000 maturing at The Macallan distillery to craft this limited edition expression. He has achieved this through adding layer upon layer of character and flavour, reflecting the approach taken to the photography itself.
Presenting the first ever Masters of Photography design collaboration, each of the 1,000 Mario Testino Editions for sale globally – of which there are four different variations, each featuring one of the four iconic shots taken by Mario – are presented in a beautiful, high gloss, black lacquered presentation box, designed together with Mario Testino. Inspired by the subtle elegance and rich Asian cultural heritage of traditional lacquered boxes, each presentation box is individually numbered and features a secret hidden compartment.
Testino’s ability to transform reality into the more vivid and desirable has resulted in some of the most prolific and recognisable photographs of our time, including the iconic portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales for her Vanity Fair cover story in 1997, and intimate shots of original supermodel Kate Moss spanning several decades.
Renowned for his mastery of composition – the artistic arrangement and placement of visual elements within the picture – and for creating a reflective and intense connection with his sitters, be it celebrities or royalty, Mario Testino has now turned his lens to The Macallan. By bringing together a group of distinct characters, Mario captured the spirit of the ultimate party. Each character was cast on the basis of their visual qualities, each echoing one of The Macallan’s Six Pillars. Shot in Beijing, in a former palace near the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square, the photographs showcase the vibrancy and luxury of The Macallan world, infused with subtle eclecticism and cultural allusions.
“Whisky was the choice of drink in my country during the years I was growing up. When I was approached by The Macallan to take part in the Masters of Photography Series I decided to capture the moment when people get together to celebrate, in the atmosphere of a whisky environment – a whisky club!,” comments Mario Testino.
Ken Grier, Director of The Macallan, said: “As one of the world’s truly great whiskies, we seek to collaborate with the best photographers in the world. Not just those who have the technical ability, but something more. The Macallan Masters of Photography is about the personal touch, we work with photographers with whom we have a shared passion to create beautiful collectables. Mario’s emotional engagement coupled with the level of his creative involvement, heralds an evolution of the role of the Master in the Masters of Photography series, one which has brought about an exciting visual celebration of our fundamental Six Pillars. Not only is he a historically important giant in contemporary photography, his elegance, charm and gentlemanly approach to creating this ultimate party has made him both a joy and an inspiration to work with.”
The Macallan Masters of Photography series features exclusive collaborations, conjoining the art of whisky making with the artist’s interpretation of the world of The Macallan. Previous editions were authored by iconic photographers Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Rankin and Albert Watson.
Each edition comprises a different Mario Testino print capturing The Six Pillars, an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images, shot by Testino during the process, one bottle of the single malt whisky and six miniatures from each of the selected six casks.
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Mario Testino edition will be available in the UK from specialist whisky retailers, priced at £2215.