“The images that Hurrell constructed were designed to create an impossibly perfect ideal, elevating these actors and actresses into the realm of gods and goddess,” says Charlotte Rey, co-curator of George Hurrell: Legends in Light, the inaugural exhibition at MATE—the Museo Mario Testino, opened by the photographer's arts foundation in Lima, Peru—that features work by the man who is thought to have single-handedly invented the Hollywood glamour portrait. “This is an aesthetic that far outreaches the confines of the silver screen.” He initially signed up to join a Seminary in his native Chicago to train as a priest before discovering his artistic path. The Church’s loss was the film industry’s gain as Hurrell was introduced to the maelstrom that was MGM Studios and became renowned for his iconic portraits of Golden Era's leading lights including Clark Gable and Greta Garbo. “He sculpted his subjects with light, carefully crafting their flawless complexions,” says Rey, who put together the show with her creative partner Duncan Campbell and Testino himself. “Hurrell was always able to find a new point of view and portray them as the best possible version of themselves.”
Legends in Light launches at MATE: Museo Mario Testino, Lima September 17 and runs through December 6.