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Oil on canvas painting of an eye in the middle of a pearlescent seashell by Ariana Papademetropoulos

Ariana Papademetropoulos

The Mother of Pearl, 2021

Oil on canvas

16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

© Ariana Papademetropoulos Photo by Argenis Apolinario; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

Los Angeles has a new patron saint, and her name is Ariana Papademetropoulos. According to the artist, a dreamy romanticism permeates her native city—the sea, the occult, and Old Hollywood find their way into her towering surrealist paintings in the form of opalescent conch shells, glowing crystals, and enormous chandeliers. In an art world largely devoid of such flights of fancy, Papademetropoulos is in high demand. This fall, she curated The Emerald Tablet, an acclaimed exhibition of fairytale scenes by Papademetropoulos and her fellow L.A.-based artists at Jeffrey Deitch, and a solo show at New York’s Vito Schnabel gallery soon followed. It’s no wonder, given her penchant for fantasy, that Gucci tapped Papademetropoulos to create a limited-edition zine this Valentine’s Day. The artist delivered—the zine, inspired by ’60s Spanish-language fotonovelas, stars a miniature Papademetropoulos, and is complete with star-crossed lovers, gentle giants, and the House’s latest collection of accessories. Today, to mark the zine’s release, we sat down with the artist  for a conversation about good parties, bad signs, and locking eyes with Larry David.

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