We had the good fortune of connecting with cynthia penna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi cynthia, how do you think about risk?
In Italy I have pursued a whole career as a magistrate starting when I was 24. I had an important job, a secured life and income .
But my personal deep passion was art and so when I turned 50, I decided to give up with all my previous life, my salary , my job and I jumped into an unsecured life, no secured incomes, nothing certain: a kind of a jump into void, without nets.
I took the risk of not being accepted in the art world ; I took the risk of failing ; I took the risk of falling down, I took the risk of a total defeat.
I started to work hard to make people accept me through the specific culture in Art that I showed; I have always studied Art in my life and I was sure to have the right competence, but sometimes this is not enough. So I showed up my capacities in the art and also in human relations that I have learned from my previous job as a magistrate.
Without fear, but very humbly, I made step by step and biult up a career in only 10 years; running very fast because I was not in my 20ies and working everyday stubbornly without rest.
This, in my opinion, means to take risks in owns life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is very creative because as curator I have to invent and create new possibilities in the making of the artists. I have to explore new possibilities either in the art world in terms of new concepts , or in the artists capacities to push them forward to produce new art, new ways of thinking and new ways to represent it, together with an exploration of new technologies and medium.
I put together different art worlds like USA, Italy, Germany and Japan and give the artists of these countries opportunities to meet each other, discuss, and then produce new things related to their exchanges of informations and thoughts.
Even under a philosophical aspect this way of promoting art is very interesting because it gives the opportunity to think new cultural systems and new ways of expression. This is something I am very proud of.
It was very hard to realize it because nothing comes in our lives smooth and easy. The path was very uncertain and not flat at all: first of all I needed to obtain credibility from artists, other curators and gallerists: this was obtained through the competence that I was able to demonstrate in terms of culture and specific studies of art. Then there are many practical problems to resolve like shipping of artworks all around the world, coordinate exigences of many people involved in the organization of exhibitions etc.
I would like to demonstrate that when people believe in what they do and engage themselves in great challange, working hard and stubbornly pursuing their purposes, at the end they can realize their dreams.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all the Museums that are fantastic!!: The Getty Center and Getty Villa are absolutely unique!! Then LACMA, MOCA and BROAD Museum are extremely interesting, such as some new Galleries that were established in the city in the last 5/6 years and have profoundly changed the art world of Los Angeles.
Then a jump into the Ocean : immense….Santa Monica and Malibu Lagoon are my favourite spots.
About eating as an Italian person I have two favourite spots: the ever perfect Madeo Restaurant on Beverly Blvd that is now under renovation and Locanda Portofino in Brentwood; food is very authentically Italian with right ingredients and no strange modifications of tastes.
I always suggest to my friends in their journeys to LA, to split the city in little areas like Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, Downtown, Hollywood Blvd or Melrose Blvd: then park the car and, as much as possible, stroll around looking for curiosities!!! They will love it!!
A trip up to the desert towards Lancaster or Palm Springs : two different ways to look at Mohave desert but both in my opinion absolutely stunning.
Mullholland drive and Griffith Park are two spots where you can enjoy Nature and look at the most beautiful landscapes and view overLA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitively, my husband Renato who supported me in every way and pushed me to overcome all difficulties
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