Ariana Papademetropoulos’s (b. 1990) work engages with the legacy of Surrealism in new and surprising ways. Conceiving of art as a portal to previously inaccessible spaces or as a means of exposing typically unseen aspects of representation, she continually returns to themes of illusions, facades, and the invisible. Using visual distortions or unexpected compositional juxtapositions, she reveals the obscured components latent in an image, such as the hidden colors or underlying organic patterns that serve the finished picture in ways that go largely unnoticed. In Songs about Roses (2020), Papademetropoulos alludes to sentient nature with her naturalistic rendering of a rose that is made unfamiliar or peculiar through the placement of a human eye at the flower’s center. These bewildering visual concurrences suggest a world that is both familiar and distinct from our own, one in which nature assumes humanlike characteristics and looks out at the viewer with a knowing, unflinching stare.
Photo: Kristin Gallegos