An Unlikely Collaboration

From Chateau Marmont to the Vatican, Domingo Zapata has even managed to get Pope Francis to add to his latest Times Square installation

Article by Andrew Threlfall

Looking back now the first time I met the painter Domingo Zapata should have prepared me for this week when he called. From the Vatican. To leave voicemail you don’t usually expect. About The Pope. Meeting the Pope. Painting with the Pope for 15 minutes.

I met Domingo in the Chateau Marmont where the boss, Andre Balazs, owner of the Standard Hotel Group, had generously installed him in a suite as an in-house artist.  “I’m very lucky, they gave me a suite across the landing for my kids and I live in my own suite which I’ve turned into a live art show. It’s true that last year Lindsay Lohan (later his girlfriend) came and lived with me for a month and painted “I’M A DRUG DO ME” on the walls. We are very, very close, and I know she’s had a tough time but she has always been welcome to come stay with me.”

“I also had Pamela Anderson drop by a while back. She cheekily wrote “TITS” which is fairly self-explanatory, though she then painted a pair of boobs too. Kim Kardasian came and posed for me too. Amazing. I also had Johnny Depp pop round and he wanted paint a giant Bumble Bee. I had a huge party in my suite for all the stars and friends who have dropped by to contribute to my art over the past couple of years.”

Mallorca born Zapata, 43, who has also had works commissioned by George Soros, the Cipriani Group, Frederic Fekkai, as well as Hollywood film stars Johnny Depp, Leonardo De Caprio and Orlando Bloom whom he counts as: “close friends, Johnny says I’m his favourite painter.” can now claim perhaps his biggest collaborative work to date.  “I was heading to the Vatican to meet the Pope last Friday (11thMay) when he agreed to paint something which will now be used in an installation in Times Square that I have designed. For a whole month this work will be on display to New Yorkers showing the importance of art and education for children. I have literally never been as happy as this. The Pope painted in front of me. I’m ecstatic about the results.”  riddle_stop 2

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