Hotel art is so often synonymous with mass-produced prints, thoughtlessly arranged in carbon-copied rooms. But there a few emerging boutique properties that are celebrating artistic expression and embracing local and international artists.
Ranging from the seriously impressive collections of big name artists such as Andy Warhol and Antony Gormley in THE THIEF hotel in Oslo, to carefully curated exhibitions of local African artists at the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, some of the world’s most exciting art can now be found in hotels.
These collections have grown from each hotelier’s passion for art. Whether it be cutting edge digital art technology like at QT in Sydney or experiential, tactile arts as in Rovinj’s Hotel Lone, this tangible excitement has the ability to inspire a global renaissance.
Art ecstasy in Oslo
World-class curator and former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art Sune Nordgren is the man behind THE THIEF’s stellar art collection. Newly opened in January this year, the hotel’s 119 rooms feature handpicked original artworks by contemporary masters alongside thought-provoking video installation and cutting edge graphic design. ‘Art on demand’ is available in every room via interactive TV, while themed maps such as Oslo Escape Routes take guests on a curated tour around the city. The hotel also features prominent works on loan from its neighbour, the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.
Tactile art in Rovinj
Perched along Croatia’s Adriatic coast, the Hotel Lone combines innovative design with functionality to present something distinctly expressive. It is the hotel’s attention to detail which is truly astonishing – every surface, furniture piece, light fitting, even the staff uniforms designed by Croatian fashion studio I-GLE, have been individually commissioned to fit the hotel’s creative concept.
From rich textured wall hangings to decorated murals and living installations, the entire hotel is touchy-feely (read on before making any assumptions) and encourages guests to play with materials, to use their senses and become part of the creative process – unlike the traditional museum ethos.
Sumo delights in Tokyo
Located in the culturally exciting area Shiodome in Tokyo, Park Hotel Tokyo features ART Colours, a quarterly exhibition project that allows guests and Japanese residents to enjoy the beauty of the four seasons. A selection of artworks and video installations by Japanese artists are chosen for every exhibition and displayed in the hotel’s atrium.
The hotel also recently launched an Artist in Hotel project where Japanese artists are invited to create Japanese ink paintings directly on the walls of the rooms, turning hotel rooms into art galleries. The Artist Room Sumo is the first, where guests share the room with lively images of sumo wrestlers.
A dazzler down under
Right in the heart of Sydney, QT Sydney stands proud within the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theatre.
Behind its doors, the old world charm is retained with new technology, distinctive art mediums and pioneering artists. Its eclectic and quirky artifacts from around the world are put together in a whimsical fashion alongside cutting edge graphics and an imposing LED wall of intriguing digital art. Hotel guests will experience art as a theatrical performance as new expressions are crafted from old attitudes.
Inspiring tribal art in Nairobi
Tribe Hotel’s treasure trove of art pieces is curated by Faranak Ehsani and is home to some of the finest tribal art to be found anywhere in the world. Artefacts from South Africa to Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the West, through to Kenya and Rwanda in the East fill the lobbies, rooms, restaurants and lounges. Guests might even find themselves sitting on an art piece, dressed as a stool, chair or bench somewhere in the hotel.
The hotel also offers a 50 feet high atrium with tiers of galleries for events and exhibitions, making it a cultural axis to engage locals and international guests.