The photographer behind the lens, Gabriella Imperatori-Penn

Published by Zion Magazine St Barth
Issue N°03 - 16 Sep, 2020 (Pages 120-127)
Interview by Emily Lab (Founder and Photographer of Zion Magazine)

 

 

See pdf version

 

Interview with the artist Gabriella Imperatori-Penn.

 

 

Emily Lab: Why still life photography?

 

 

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn: Since childhood, I have always had a lot of dialogue with the environment around me. For me, with still life, there is a certain sense of putting the world in order and having an inner, quiet conversation. It's a special way of focusing and centering myself. I have a natural fascination with form and texture and a strong interest in both natural and designed objects that connects my commercial, editorial and fine art work. People say the work is both feminine and bold. And for me, it also marries the descriptive and the mysterious. My still life work is also strongly connected to the way I approach the landscape, which I am exploring in a new body of fine art work.
 

Emily Lab: What drives you as an artist?

 

 

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn: Definitely an obsession to create. When I don't take pictures I sew, or knit, or plant, or cook. Taking pictures gives me peace of mind.

 

 

Emily Lab: How do you develop personal projects?

 

 

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn: Most of my fine art projects are very nature-driven and minimal. It's the counterpoint to living in a busy, sometimes overwhelming, very urban environment.

 

 

Emily Lab: What is your connection to St Barths?

 

 

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn: Growing up in Switzerland I had a loving and enchanting fascination with the Caribbean Islands all of my childhood. It was like dreaming of a fairy land far far away ... where I fantasized to live one day. Once I arrived in NYC I finally was able to follow my wish to visit many islands. Over the years I saw beautiful places, but none felt quite like the one I had always set my heart on until I arrived in St Barth for the first time in 2007. This was the Island of my dreams and the feeling I had was instant. I visited St Barth multiple times a year but it was not until I met and fell in love with my partner, who has lived here for a couple of decades, that I have been able to gratefully call St Barth my home. I now live between NYCs West Village and Grand Cul de Sac, St Barth.

 

 

Emily Lab: What makes you happy?

 

 

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn: Turquoise, orange, WHITE ! Flowers... I love to cook... Italian food, and wine is a passion... the ocean. I am an absolute romantic. La Bohème is my favorite opera... Chopin, Eric Satie (they used to be my favorite composers to play when I still played the piano). I love Sophia Loren and Ingrid Bergman... Fellini, Woody Allen’s "Midnight in Paris”... Jane Campion’s "The Portrait of a Lady", Richard Curtis’ "Love Actually"... I LOVE Jazz... my favorite Album of all time is Miles Davis’ "Kind of Blue,” Edith Piaf... Laura Pausini, Ella Fitzgerald, Adele... gardening... candle light... dimmed lights... linen... beautiful smells... Japanese incense... tea... not wearing shoes... my Volvo....

 

Gabriella's work is held in numerous private collections and can be seen locally at Space Gallery St Barth and the Eden Rock Hotel. 

 

Her work is available in various formats.

 

See: www.spacegallerystbarth.com

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Island Mountain #1, 2018 (Edition of 7 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Extinct #6, 2019 (Edition of 10 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Extinct #7, 2019 (Edition of 10 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Extinct #2, 2019 (Edition of 10 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Flowers #6, 2008 (Edition of 7 + 2AP) Archival pigment print on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Luminous Stone #12, 2009 (Edition of 7 + 2 AP) Gelatin silver print photograph

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Shadow Stone #1, 2009 (Edition of 7 + 2 AP) Gelatin silver print photograph

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Moonscape #10, 2018 (Edition of 21) Archival pigment print

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Island Mountain #3, 2017 (Edition of 7 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Island Mountain #2, 2017 (Edition of 7 + 2 AP) Archival pigment print photograph on fine art paper

Gabriella Imperatori-Penn Flowers #10, 2020 (Edition of 7 + 2AP) Archival pigment print on fine art paper

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