“We’re like seasons. We can’t be spring all the time. Flowers come once a year. You can’t always be in bloom. We all need a metaphorical winter to take time and hibernate. I think humans forget we too are a part of nature.” – Ariana Papademetropoulos



PS What are you up to now?

AP I just opened a show at Vito Schnabel that I have been working on for the past five months in Rome. I’m also making a film at the Louvre in two weeks where I’ll be on a motorized bed going through the museum. 

PS That’s so wild. How did that come about? 

AP There’s a new director, Donatien Grau, who runs contemporary programming, a position I believe did not exist before. He is bringing contemporary artists to create video works inside the Louvre. It seems like a rare opportunity to be able to film in there while it’s empty so I am excited to make something special for it. 

PS You’re still based in LA?

AP I will always have a base in LA, with a studio. This past year I spent half the year in Rome and a bit in Paris, and I really liked being there. I think half my time in LA and half my time Rome/Paris is where I am headed. 

View from Tower I, 2022.

PS Rome seems like a very calm place to be making work. There’s always something going on in Los Angeles. I can imagine it’s nice to have a balance between the two, being social and then hiding out. 

AP Yeah that’s actually what the exhibition Baby Alone in Babylone is about. It oscillates between this unicorn that’s trapped in this castle and then this nymph that tempts the viewer. I always knew the exhibition was going to be about unicorns, but the nymph came in, being the opposite of what unicorns symbolize; chastity and virginity. There are these two themes that I focus on until we reach the final painting of the giant shell in nature, which represents balance. The shell gives the safety of a cocoon while still being out in the world. It’s this balance between darkness and light; the interior and exterior. It’s finding that middle way. I feel like the paintings took me there. It’s kind of what this year was for me, what my life’s been like in a way.

PS Can you elaborate on that? 

AP Uh oh! Are we going into therapy?

PS Haha — yeah, let’s do it.

AP For the past few years I would go through these periods where I’d work four months straight, and then I’d be so burnt out afterwards I’d need to take a few months completely off. It was one way or the other. And I realized that that lifestyle, of just going into complete isolation and then completely being free, is not sustainable. I think a lot of painters and writers deal with the same thing, that struggle to find the right balanced lifestyle. We’re like seasons. We can’t be spring all the time. Flowers come once a year. You can’t always be in bloom. We all need a metaphorical winter to take time and hibernate. I think humans forget we too are a part of nature. With Instagram and social media, it’s made us feel like we have to produce, produce, produce. We have to put these constraints on ourselves to not feel the need for output constantly. 

PS Telling the difference between what’s real and not. 

AP And same with art. It’s like you have to keep what’s real and what’s magic alive. How do you keep that magic and not get caught up in the logistics of making work, staying excited about it? I know so many artists that get wrapped up in the business side of it that they forget how lucky they are to be artists. When I speak to artists I feel it’s rarely actually about the making of the work, and more about everything that surrounds it. It just becomes a job. You have to make a conscious decision to stay in an art-making realm.

Self Portrait 1996, 2022.
Pleroma, 2022.
Glass Slippers, 2022.
A Mellow Drama, 2021.

PS What was your childhood like? What were you like as a kid?

AP It’s funny that you ask me that, because I recently thought about how I’m reverting back to my childhood self and interests a bit. When I was a kid, I was really quiet and completely immersed in an imaginary land. I learned to communicate with squirrels and had this book of bugs; I’d collect, squish and then label them. I was just really into bugs and science, and drew all day. I didn’t have friends until I was maybe seven. And then it completely shifted. But when I was really little they called me “trash magnet,” because I would collect leaves and sticks with the bugs and put them all on my desk. And then I figured out how to relate to others and made loads of friends — became quite a wild teenager. But recently, with these snail paintings, I’ve been laughing about how I’m going back to that little girl. Because I’m collecting images of butterflies and snails. 

PS Let’s talk about the show, Veils that you and Jhordan Dahl organized at The Underground Museum, when we first met back in 2013. 

AP Now it’s no longer there. It’s so sad. I was working as an assistant for Noah Davis for a few years. He was kind of my mentor. He put me in my first group show at Roberts and Tilton. And then I wanted to curate a show and he was generous enough to allow me. I guess I always had this fascination with veils, you know, the in-between — which is still very much what I’m interested in now. We just kind of threw ourselves into it. And honestly, it could have been a TV show, how much went wrong. At one point one of the artists was doing an installation and it caught on fire. I literally thought to myself, Okay what art pieces do I grab and save?! I thought the whole place was going to burn down! There were so many moments like that, where it was just these two girls trying to put this show together. It was ridiculous — but I’m really happy I did it in the end.

PS It was really special, that show. What are some of the larger moments that took you from then to where you are now?

AP I think that the show last year with Jeffrey Deitch was a big moment and probably the most challenging art show that I’ve ever done, to curate and produce it at the same time. It felt more like a museum exhibition, with the pieces we acquired for it and the installation. Also just thinking to myself, Who am I to do this? I am not qualified to do this. But then when it was finished, it felt nice to look around and say, “Okay yeah I can do this.” 

PS What are the “qualifications”?

AP I still don’t know. I am not sure I do anything ‘the right way’ but perhaps that is my strong suit. I throw myself into situations without thinking about the work it entails or what I am getting myself into, but I always figure it out as I go and it turns out ok. 

PS What do you think about curating versus focusing on personal work? Will you continue to do both?

AP It wasn’t my intention or idea to curate that show at Jeffrey’s, The Emerald Tablet. Jeffrey believed my work isn’t just as a painter, but a larger world that I create. He felt it wouldn’t make sense for my first big show to be solely my paintings; there had to be an extension of the paintings that was immersive. I don’t think of myself as a curator, because that word is so strange to me. But I really enjoy being able to narrate a story and weave ideas together through research in a visual way. Sharing that experience with others is very satisfying. I think in general, though I like bridging the gap between more historical work and contemporary art. Because I like this concept that we’re all pulling from the collective unconscious. 

PS Can you tell me more about your idea of drawing from the collective unconscious?

AP Well it’s a term that Carl Jung used to describe the part of the unconscious mind that is taken from ancestral or primal memory and experience. It’s a common deep thread that connects all of humankind. You know, the archetypes that are present in all of our dreams or subconscious — take for instance the unicorn as it’s the theme of my recent exhibition with Vito. Why is it that there’s a unicorn in every culture? Why does it affect us on such a level? Why is every little girl obsessed with them? It’s these deep-rooted symbols that we are collectively drawn to that I’m interested in exploring. When I’m making work, I too am making it on a subconscious level. I just feel haunted by certain subjects. Until I make a painting, I can’t stop thinking about them. I don’t know why it’s certain subjects, but I do think that they are in our subconscious which is a part of the whole collective unconscious — kind of like this separate physical realm that exists that we can all have access to. 

PS Have you spoken with a medium before?

AP I have — a lot. I try to only do it once a year. It’s really easy to get carried away because you just want answers all the time. But it’s true that you can’t really get the correct answer; as there are five possible routes your life can take at any point, and sometimes you’re in control of that, and sometimes you aren’t. 



Read the full interview on Muse February Issue 61.


Roe Ethridge. Happy Birthday Louise Parker


Returned to the city as an important space for cultural dissemination, the exhibition floor unveils to the public for the first time the first part of the program that interweaves – with an international gaze – visual arts, fashion, design and the publishing scene. An unprecedented experience of discovery and fruition takes visitors through the environments in an ascending climax.

Miranda July: New Society


Osservatorio Prada presents the first exhibition dedicated to the work of Miranda July that traces the 30-year career of the American artist, filmmaker and writer through her short films, performances and installations.



Our Muse Jennifer is wearing the best of the season while is captured by the photographer Paolo Zerbini and styled by Francesca Cefis.




Nora photographed by Valentin Hennequin and styled by Asier Rodriguez is wearing the best of the season.




Muse Alix Bouthors through the gaze of Iñigo Awewave interprets the CHANEL SS24 Collection, an ode to freedom and movement.