The art of Ariana Papademetropoulos is a parallel universe

Name: Ariana Papademetropoulos Age: 30 Hometown: Pasadena, California Currently lives: In a three-story Victorian house in the Mount ...


Name: Ariana Papademetropoulos

Age: 30

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Currently lives: In a three-story Victorian house in the Mount Washington section of Los Angeles that she shares with the musician John Carroll Kirby.

Claim to fame: Ms. Papademetropoulos is a painter whose large-scale hyperrealist work offers a window onto parallel universes. His complex renderings of abandoned interior spaces; massive opalescent soap bubbles resembling alien planets; and even occasionally Pegasus were exposed to Vito Schnabel Gallery in New York and Soft opening in London. “I am very inspired by finding beauty in the unknown while being based on reality,” she said.

Big cut: From an early age, Mrs. Papademetropoulos was fascinated by seashells and other natural wonders in iridescent colors. “The paintings got bigger, but the subjects were always the same,” she said.

After attending the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts (“I was very rebellious,” she said), she started working for her “mentor”, Noah Davis, the influential figurative painter who died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 32, and enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts, where she received a BFA in 2012.

His debut in the art world took place in 2010, when his work was included in a group exhibition organized by Mr. Davis at Roberts projects in Los Angeles. “Working for Noah has been one of the biggest influences in my life,” she said.

Latest project: “The Emerald Tablet”, a solo exhibition of new works by Mme Papademetropoulos, presented at Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles until October 23. The exhibit is loosely based on a theosophistic reading of Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” and includes a mind-boggling selection of works by Beck and the occultist Marjorie Cameron. “The show speaks of Los Angeles as a place to create your own reality – a place of self-discovery,” she said.

Next thing: She can’t reveal much, but she plans to build a modern nymphaeum in Florence, Italy, a natural cave dedicated to nymphs used by ancient Greeks and Romans. “I’m really interested in using architecture to create a trip,” she said.

Life imitates art: Like her paintings, Ms. Papademetropoulos’ personal life borders on the surrealist. Last December, she spent three weeks as a guest in an opulent 18th century Sicilian villa To belong to Princess Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca, an eccentric 71-year-old descendant of one of Italy’s oldest noble families. “The house is almost built like a facility,” she said. “Each wall is painted a different color and each room educates you in one way or another.”

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