jenny polanco

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Next Friday the 10th of August, the Altos de Chavón art gallery will be opening a new exhibit “Buscando Esencias”, a photographic exhibit and collaboration between 2 great artists; photo journalist; Emiliano Larizza and famous Dominican designer; Jenny Polanco. Intrigued by this fascinating combination we spoke to both Emiliano and Jenny to find out more about this great union of art forms and here we bring you an insight into “Buscando Esencias”.  

@cdcliving: How would you describe the exhibit “Buscando Esencias”? 

Jenny Polanco: “Buscando esencia” (searching for essence)….comes from not identifying with the city and its current development, it is a union between the jovial and warm nature of the Dominican Republic and the Dominican people with their neighborhoods and customs.

Emiliano Larizza: “Buscando esencia” is the search of a fashion designer and a photographer who want to unite fashion and photography so that the two art forms co-exist at the same time. 

@cdcliving: How and where did this project start?

Jenny Polanco: The project was an idea of mine and luckily I found Emiliano, who with his talent, enthusiasm and professionalism immediately identified with the concept. Emiliano is not a fashion photographer, but a photojournalist, whose passion is capturing the essence of an environment, rather than a style of dress or particular fashion style. 

Emiliano Larizza: I met Jenny Polanco in an exhibition which I was presenting in the Casa de España in Santo Domingo which featured my photographic work from Haiti. We got talking and decided to take some photos with her clothing. I’m a photo journalist and so it really was an experiment in which we tried to unite fashion with my work and passion as a reporter.

@cdcliving: Where were the photos taken?

Jenny Polanco: In the Dominican Republic we used the Santa Barbara neighborhood in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, a very poor area, but with great warmth. Next, we used San Pedro de Macoris and it’s old buildings, an area where the the luxurious facades of these buildings contrasts with the state of disrepair of the same buildings and the area in general.

It’s a work in progress, we were invited to Jamaican Fashion Week, so we took advantage of that opportunity to capture a little Jamaican essence as well. Over there we used a colleague who is not a model, someone who could really identify with the country to achieve our objectives.    

@cdcliving: How did the collaboration work?

Emiliano Larizza: Before each shooting Jenny would show me the clothing we were going to be working with. She is very precise and professional and working with her is fun as well because in reality the essence of my work is to really interact with everything during the shoot. Rather than planning each shoot, we left many situations to the moment, which is the way it has to be for photo journalism.   

The photos used in this article are a small sample of what you can expect to see in the actual “Buscando Esencias” exhibit which will open with an inauguration cocktail on Friday the 10th of August at the Altos de Chavón art gallery and will stay open until the 10th of September.

Cocktail Opening of “Buscando Esencias” 

When: Friday, August 10th from 7pm

Where: The Altos de Chavón art gallery, Casa de Campo

Following the opening the exhibit will be on display from the 10th of August through to the 10th of September, open for viewings daily from 9am – 6pm (but closed Tuesdays).

About Jenny Polanco

Jenny Polanco is a Dominican fashion designer with over 30 years experience in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Paris and New York. Her “Pret a Porter” (ready to wear) and Couture designs are most popular for being sophisticated yet simple, classic and easy to wear – enhanced by typically Dominican “touches”, such as buttons crafted from amber, horn, larimar, mother of pearl and coral.

You can shop Jenny Polanco in Casa de Campo at both the Marina Casa de Campo and Altos de Chavón as well as in Santo Domingo at Blue Mall, Casa Virginia, Bella Vista Mall and in the Colonial Zone.

Click here to read more about Jenny Polanco and her designs 

About Emiliano Larizza

Born in Rome in 1978, Emiliano first fell in love with photography in 2001 when he met Daniele, a man who became like second father to Emiliano as he taught him all the secrets of the profession. He then studied graphics, screenplay writing and fell in love with art, something which became a stimulus and a help in his continuous quest for the essence of photography: a means to express one’s own creative ideas.

Having traveled in Europe, Asia and the Americas, Emiliano settled in Dominican Republic in 2008 and from January 2010 started following the situation in Haiti, in the aftermath of the earthquake (see above photo).

Emiliano has has his work published in both national and international press such as Internazionale, L’Espresso, IlManifesto, IoDonna, Riders, Il Venerdi (Repubblica), The Guardian, Het Financieele Dagblad and Newsweek.

Find out more about Emiliano at: