Gabriella Imperatori-Penn


Gabriella Imperatori-Penn

Swiss born Photographer, Gabriella Imperatori-Penn found her passion for photography at the age of 15, photographing the expansive landscapes around her native home of Zurich, Switzerland and taking portraits of her close friends. After graduating from Gymnasium in Zürich in 1983, she chose not to continue her academic education to instead follow her dream to become a photographer. Imperatori-Penn then started working with the acclaimed Swiss photographer Raymond Meier, her mentor, with whom she continued to expand her knowledge and craftsmanship of both photography and print making over the next 4 years.  She moved to New York City in 1986 and opened her first studio in Soho in 1988. Gabriella was always drawn to the quiet conversations of still life, which led to an extensive commercial and editorial career. Her work is both bold and feminine, marrying the descriptive and mysterious.

With her busy and thriving advertising and editorial work, Gabriella found it critical to maintain a balance and always kept her focus on the fine arts. She found her “sanctuary” in landscape and nature photography, which is the center point of her fine artwork. Living between New York and St. Barth for the past 6 years, Gabriella has been working on an ongoing series of Moonscapes, Landscapes & Plant Studies.

Other travels both for commercial and personal reasons continually stimulate her photographic nature studies. On one of her journeys to Greece Gabriella Imperatori-Penn fell in love with the stone beaches of Chios. The water upon the stones made the most amazingly calming sounds which were emotionally moving and inspiring. In 2009 she photographed these stones in the studio with a focus that felt like a Buddhist meditation expressing that she saw each and every stone as it’s own peaceful universe or planet.

In the long span of her career, Gabriella Imperatori-Penn has worked for some of the most influential magazines such as American Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Departures, Elle Decor, O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and Architectural Digest as well as some of the most prestigious advertising clients such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Knoll, L’Oreal, Lancôme and Cartier.

Her very admired mentor Irving Penn, with whom she spent lots of time discussing photography, has been a great influence on her work.

Then Sarah Moon, who she thinks takes pictures that are from another mindset, Sally Mann who she feels is so very brave and Lynn Davis who explores the world from every corner.

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn’s works are held in numerous private collections and been exhibited by the Steven Kasher Gallery in NYC and the Space SBH Gallery in St Barth.