The cameras stand in line, in perfect formation, as Irene Peña puts in the film rolls methodically; the model gets made up and readied, and then she's chased down a million corridors, through old elevators, wild gardens and unending deserts. We share pictures and conversation, we stay almost monastically still, while the model changes dresses like the seasons, one after the other, while a few more wait in the wings. There are sudden rushes, there are discarded cameras, replete of new, exciting images, as we follow fashion's infinite parade: a gorgeously tall girl, with a lion's mane of soft hair, trailed by bags of clothes, boxes of paint and brushes, mirrors, chairs and lights. In the middle of this slight chaos, the photographer and the model dance; this choreographed movement turning into the shortest distance between two people that revolve against extraordinary backdrops: ruinous hotels, furiously green gardens, unnamed streets, menacing quarries of blindingly white stone.
Watching Irene work is an experience that combines the paced, cerebral activity of the seasoned artist with the avant-garde, dynamic, vital images that she produces. For Irene, her chosen path of becoming a painter took an unexpected detour towards photography, but her pictures are so full of movement, so delicate in their layers and veiled sensations, that they betray her painterly background. Irene started her career studying painting and graphic design at the University of Costa Rica in 1987, but she soon discovered that photography was her true calling. This led her to complete a career in photography at Santa Monica College, USA.
In 1993, Irene came back to Costa Rica, where she worked in advertising photography for four years, before settling back in Los Angeles in 1998, to continue developing her interest in fashion. In this arena we find her most innovative works: fashion is not presented as a glittering museum object, but dresses seem to show their true essence in movement. The most interesting and attractive quality in Irene's work is that we sense it is deeply meditated, but also spontaneous and almost accidental. After spending a few years in Los Angeles, Irene came back to Costa Rica, where she continues to expand her portfolio of fashion images.