An introduction to photography

Anne Valverde, Gabriella Imperatori-Penn, Maryam Eisler, Marco Cella, Kieran Walsh, Jacques Zolty, Pierre Carreau, Jerome Rapin

April 12th - April 22nd, 2017


An introduction to Photography I   Collective Artists

Opening April 13th 2017, Space SBH Contemporary Art Gallery

This Spring Space SBH Contemporary Art Gallery is highlighting the importance of photography by hosting an exhibition ‘An Introduction to Photography’.  Photography is an engaging and accessible medium to collect and is now considered as valid and collectable an art form as painting – evidenced by photo sales results at auction.

The gallery has put together a group of lesser known and emerging photographers to show new talent. The idea behind the exhibition is to make artwork more accessible and this show comprises smaller pieces and for smaller prices. The show will feature some of the gallery’s regular artists as well as introduce some new ones including Anne Valverde, Gabriella Imperatori-Penn and St Barth-based Jerome Rapin. It is the perfect occasion to discover new works and to start your own collection or add some beautiful little gems to your existing one.

For anyone beginning to explore collecting photographs, whether you’re interested in contemporary or vintage work before making a purchase, it is important to consider a few key points. The photography market is robust and diverse, and there’s a lot to see. And seeing – at every possible opportunity – is the best way to refine your eye. Like all art, photographs come in a range of sizes, so pay close attention to dimensions and number of editions. An edition can be anything from two to 500 or more. The fewer prints in the edition, the higher their worth. Larger size prints cost more and, as others in the edition are sold, the price of those remaining rises.

Some collectors focus on landscapes or black and white or prints from a particular period, but don’t feel compelled to go in with a strategy; a pattern can emerge as you go. Don’t think of your collection as static. Your taste changes. Whatever your approach to collecting, the crucial thing is to enjoy it. Buy what you love. Buy what speaks to you. It’s a reflection of who you are.

Here are some great emerging photographers we want to introduce you to help get your collection started…


Gabriella Imperatori-Penn

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 she 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 before moving to New York City in 1986 and opened her own studio in Soho in 1988. 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. Now living between New York and St. Barth, Gabriella has been working on an ongoing series of Moonscapes & Plant Studies since 2010.

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. 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 work is influenced by her very admired Irving Penn amongst others and is in numerous private collections. Luminous + Shadow Stones were first shown by Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea NY April – August 2016 + at AIPAD in April 2016


Jerome Rapin

This small series by artist Jerome Rapin is titled the ‘Gnossienne’ – originally a musical composition from Erik SATIE, played for the artist on the piano by his wife when he works late at night… it is also a moment of realisation when you become aware that someone you’ve known for years has a mysterious inner life. I love both ‘definitions’ and hence titled this series started in 2013 in St Barthélemy.

These shots capture the surrounding islands and rocks close to St Barth itself, which are brought to life with the simple mirror effect applied to them – they are familiar yet unrecognizable and in them we see new life, new objects in the abstraction. The particular light and the almost clear blue skies are essential components for the shots to be successful. Evocative of nature and purity, these images are an ode to freedom and serenity. The fact that we recognise body shapes, faces or even intimate details in these ‘Gnossiennes’, is the proof that we can relate to our surroundings. But far from understanding everything, quiet observation brings the realisation that although part of nature, we know less and less of its inner mysterious life.

Jérôme is a French born artist who professionally trained in fine arts and design and worked in the UK for more than 10 years before his life lead him St Barthelemy in 2011 where he established his architectural workshop. He regularly gives life-drawing sessions and his practice includes drawing, painting and photography. He has exhibited previously in St Barth, but also in France and the UK (London, Bristol and Cardiff) His work will be featured in forthcoming shows by contemporary galleries in Europe.


Anne Valverde

A Parisian photographer fascinated by urban spaces and graphism of landscapes. The distinctiveness of her work lies in the colorization of certain details of her photos taken in black and white. Her work has been influenced by great artists such as Basquiat and Warhol. She works in medium format Hasselblad with silver films.

After digital processing, high-resolution prints are exclusively developed on silver paper.

The photos are intended to act as a springboard into the imagination and she often refers to them as “windows with views”. Her work is exhibited in galleries in Paris, Miami, The Hamptons and also regularly featured in Art Fairs (London and New York).

She has recently embarked on a new series called ‘The Dream Art Project’ photographing her neon Dream installation in different landscapes and in different countries. The objective of her work is to make people dream and this project allowed the artist to unite two of her passions – light and calligraphy through her photography.


Marco Cella

Born in Milan, Italy, Marco Cella began his photographic career after graduating in International Politics. He began by assisting internationally known photographers for many years before working independently in both fashion and art on assignments for numerous magazines, shooting top models and celebrities. He has exhibited in Milan, Paris and Saint Barth and his photos have been sold all over the world.

Marco Cella has been working on this series of “portraits” of Saint Barth for a few years.

Printed on rag paper, each one of them has been manually treated by the artist.


Kieran Walsh

Kieran Walsh was born in Cork, Ireland and his family moved from Dublin to Maine in the United States when he was a young boy. From an early age, Walsh’s parents taught him to appreciate the arts: his mother introduced him to the works of painter Andrew Wyeth, which had a striking impact on the young artist. ”I became fascinated with the way Wyeth was able to capture this austere location, along with its rugged occupants, with such a striking, minimalist quality. The way he would paint the gentle breeze moving an old window curtain, or the soft light cascading down an old staircase.”

Kieran Walsh is an award winning director and fine art photographer with multiple accolades in the International Photography Awards Competition, with Honorable Mention in Fine Art – Landscape category frequently.


Maryam Eisler

While working on a major book on American artists and their studios during 2012, Maryam Eisler followed in the footsteps of the great Georgia O’Keeffe, experiencing first-hand a little of her journeying among the grand dinosaur-fossil-bearing New Mexico landscape.

Unable to resist the urge to go back, in summer 2015 Eisler finally took the plunge. She spent days in the majestic, inhospitable New Mexican landscape, from the high desert to canyons, from plateaus to arroyos, once again experiencing that unique light and a little of Native America’s spirituality – a unique visual and sensory feast to archive. On returning home, she realised the purpose of her own poetic adventure: the search for Eve, her muse, somewhere between the majestic heavens and Mother Earth, standing atop the rocky inclines, as sensual and powerful as the monumental nature that had surrounded her.

Maryam Eisler is a London-based photographer, editor, and art patron and holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from Columbia University. She has held executive editorial roles on publications including Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey; Art and Patronage: The Middle East; Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios; Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces and London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City. She is currently photographing for London East: Rebels with a (Creative) Cause, for which she is also the author. Eisler co-chairs Tate’s MENAAC Acquisitions Committee and is a member of the Tate International Council. She is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery, sits on the advisory board of Photo London and is a nominator for the Prix Pictet photography prize.


Pierre Carreau

For Carreau, the action of waves reveals a unique visual phenomenon conveying a sense of the paradox of power and fragility that exists therein. His aim, to “transfer the waves’ energy to those who view them.” The images often evoke a range of emotions depending on the state of mind and perspective of the viewer; from the exhilaration familiar to surfers, to the meditative calm we feel in moments of peaceful introspection. As we view the pieces, the rise and fall of the water is like watching a living organism inhale and exhale and we fall into its hypnotic rhythm. For Carreau as for all of us, water is essential, an elixir of sorts – life giving, life sustaining and essential.

At times Carreau’s waves can be perceived as objects rather than as two-dimensional representations. The play of light off the multitude of facets and curves on the water’s surface give the image a sculptural quality that enhances the sense of stillness and power. This simultaneous depiction of roiling movement and suspended kinetic energy parallels the dual nature of the oceans and of water itself: life-giving and yet dangerous, inviting and yet fearsome, primordial and yet ever-changing and always renewed. This sculptural effect of dynamism in static suspension is at once conscious and haphazard, a function of the rapid genesis of these images and the evident fact that the artist cannot possibly see the final work at the very moment of its birth.

Born in 1972 near Paris, Pierre Carreau grew up surrounded by artistic influences in a family that included a photographer, sculptors and painters. A long-held love of the ocean and water-sports led him to work photographing action shots for surf and kite-surf magazines, but the water itself eventually captured his artistic imagination and became the genesis of his AquaViva series.


Jacques Zolty

Jacques Zolty was born in a small village in South West France but settled in St Barth in 1983 where he is now part of the local landscape. Almost as soon as he arrived, Zolty began to document the island, the characters and its energy and his passion for photography only grew from there as he worked alongside some of the most well-known and respected photographers the world has seen in the last 50 years. The subject of his photographs is often portraits or landscapes and more recently Jacques has completed a Sailing series as well as a series of raw and beautiful Cuba where he also spends a lot of his time.

His images intend to convey an idea, energy or emotion, in a way they serve as a witness to what has passed before his eyes.