nvironments invariably influence one’s experience of a space, and creativist Emiliano
Campobello is masterful at finding solutions to suit the occasion.
Raised in Santa Barbara, Campobello attended UCSB for an art degree. He then
continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Venice, Italy, with a focus on sculpture.
Next, Campobello moved to Holland to learn the craft of faux finish. For the next 11 years, he
built a European clientele in decorative painting that included the National Ballet, shopping
malls, the Amsterdam Children’s Hospital and various thematic events. Working as an art
director for several companies, Campobello became a master at creating
three-dimensional environments of all sorts by combining his talents for
painting, sculpting and exotic faux finishes ranging from wood to metal to
a surreal Martian landscape.
Eventually Campobello returned to Santa Barbara and won
commissions for intricate residential faux finish projects, including doors
made to look like oak panels and entire rooms appearing to float under
water. In 2008, he was tapped by the Coral Casino to restore a long
hidden mural in the Member’s Room. Covered in the 1960s, the nautical-
themed mural was returned to its previous glory by Campobello and his
team. He was also hired to apply a silver leaf ceiling in the Coral Casino’s
His work in Montecito led to a call for the project of a lifetime
from the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, which was celebrating its 100-year
anniversary in May of 2012. Campobello was hired to apply twenty-five
thousand gold leaves in a radial pattern, throughout the lobby domes.
Suspended from scaffolding day after day, Campobello earned the
nickname of Michelangelo amongst the staff. Working 100-hour weeks for
six weeks straight, he meticulously applied the three-micron thick leaves
one at a time to create a stunning, glowing starburst.
To contact Campobello or see more of his work, head to emiliano-art.
by Jenn Kennedy