MIAMI—“Oh, you’re Jewish?” This is not such a propitious question to be asked these days. But when the artist Leidy Mazo sprang that one on a writer at an Art Basel event in Sunny Isles Beach this afternoon, there turned out to be a lovely reason behind it.

Mazo recently converted to Judaism, “to connect more with my daughter, who’s also Russian.” And with the zeal of a convert, she found her new passion expressing itself through her original passion, art.

“I was learning to be Jewish and I took this book,” Mazo told the Fine Art Globe, holding a chumash lacquered in some sort of greenish papier-mâché. “I wanted the book to be as beautiful as what I was learning.”

And it is.

Leidy Mazo holds the chumash that she lacquered and painted. (Photo: Ken Kurson for Fine Art Globe)

Mazo came to the United States at 15. She headed to Hollywood to do some modeling and acting. While she landed some small gigs—she’s a mailroom clerk in Transformers: Dark of the Moon—her true passion remained creating beautiful things, not simply being one. Her painting are so vibrant and colorful that they almost seem to shimmer, and in fact, some have some ultraviolet paints as base notes to achieve that sensation of “beyond visible light.”

A bright red sphere backed by a pretty kick-ass collection of booze #Miami (Photo: Ken Kurson for Fine Art Globe)

Mazo showed the Fine Art Globe a video on her phone of the venerable Rav Pinto viewing her series of Star of David paintings. (A nice moment on the video occurred when the great rabbi covered his eyes to preserve his tznius as he walked by her racier creations.)

As she describes on her website, “Changing religions was my earliest inspiration. I spent a lot of time studying to convert to Judaism. One day I was sitting at the table studying and I naturally started drawing the Star of David. I noticed the perfect angles of the star and thought it would be great if I could incorporate prayers and create a work of art. My Louis Vuitton purse was sitting on the table while I was sketching and I started adding the logo into the art piece.”

If that’s not the most Miami thing ever—a stunning Columbian artist taking inspiration from both Judaism and a designer handbag—then maybe today’s venue is even more Miami.

Nowhere else could the world’s premiere Art Week combine so shamelessly with the city’s other obsession—high end real estate.

Mazo’s show took place at the open house for a gorgeous two-floor suite — yes, of course it has a private pool with an ocean view. Amid the sushi and booze, it was easy to picture Chad, Chris and Samantha from Million Dollar Listing Miami approving of such a totally Miami blending of art and commerce. If you love the art, reach out to Mazo—she’s got an army on Insta @leidymazo. And if you got $6M in your pocket and require 5000-ish square feet of breathtaking views and wraparound balconies, reach out to Wendy Cohen at Sotheby’s. It can be gross, this mashup of the sacred and profane. But there’s also an honesty about it that can actually be kind of charming.

Leidy Mazo shows a work that’s so large—and hard to photograph, sorry—that it had to be unframed to make it into the Open House exhibition. (Photo: Ken Kurson for Fine Art Globe)