“If you think the museum should be a white box, then I suppose you might see it that way, but art through the centuries has been displayed in baroque palaces and in churches, and people don’t say that takes away from it.”
This quote by renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid touches on the increasing enthusiasm for bringing art into unorthodox spaces - like hotels. Great art isn't limited to the gallery or museum. Ambitious artists around the world are creating exceptional art and putting it in unexpected places.
Over the last 10 years, high end hotels have started to build exciting collections of original art by established and emerging talent alike. Classical art, furniture and decor have been standard features in top hotels over the years, but there’s a new focus in the hospitality industry on giving art more prominence and showcasing more groundbreaking work.
Around the world, hotels are opting for original, eye-catching and mood-enhancing art that will inspire their guests. Here’s a curated selection of 5 hotels around the globe that have some breathtaking art.
1. Hotel Saint George, Marfa
A little town in the middle of nowhere Texas has made quite the name for itself in the art world. Marfa is bursting with cultural activities and the Hotel Saint George is an exceptionally cool, art-focused way to begin your foray into this artsy village. Did we mention they also have a super hip in-house bookstore?
2. Hotel Des Arts, San Francisco
No list of arty hotels would be complete without this iconic San Francisco establishment. Hotel Des Arts gives guests an intimate and immersive art experience. We’re talking funky wall murals that wrap around the bedroom.
3. Elma Hotel, Zichron Ya’akov, Israel
The Elma is both an arts centre and luxury hotel. Their mission is built on the belief that “when you stay with art, the art stays with you long after you leave.” 4 artist studios onsite give artists the opportunity to work in residency, while a set of exhibition halls called the Elstein Galleries showcase exciting work by artists from Israel and around the globe.
4. Mona Pavilions, Hobart
What can be said about Mona that hasn’t already been said? It’s an exceptional art and architecture journey Every room - sorry “luxury den” - is named after an influential Australian architect and features artwork from the Mona collection. For breathtaking views of Aussie art and architecture, on the one hand, and the River Derwent, on the other, book a stay at Mona.
5. The Thief, Oslo
As if this hotel wasn’t cool enough already, with pieces by the likes of Sir Peter Blake and Andy Warhol, it has its own curator. Enjoy a drink at the rooftop bar and then head downstairs to The Thief Art Space, which showcases art by emerging contemporary artists making a name for themselves in Norway.
Posted by Aimee Morris on 07th June 2018
Artist Ta Thimkaeo grew up in rural Thailand, and once thought that there was more chance of her walking on the moon than becoming an artist. She had the lucky chance to be educated until she was 12, and although she never saw it in her sights when she was a child, art was in her blood and it was written in her stars. A difficult start in life has not held Ta back, and today she sells her characterful figurative paintings to collectors worldwide. Discover her story and find out the symbol of an egg.
What was it like growing up in Thailand?
I came from an impoverished farming family but I was lucky enough to go to school until age 12, whereas many other children had to leave earlier to start working. After school I worked in the rice fields and then in a sweatshop in Bangkok. I spent the second half of my adolescence driving a pickup truck 7 days a week selling vegetables.
When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
While I was working in the shirt factory in Bangkok I went for a walk and came across an art studio where an old man was painting. After watching him for ages he invited me in and showed me around.
I loved that studio - I loved the chaos and the smell of paint. I was well and truly hooked. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew one day I was going to be an artist. At the time there was probably more chance of me walking on the moon.
What are some of the influences behind your work?
Until 2012 I had never heard of Picasso, Van Gogh or any other artist. But then in 2014 I travelled to the UK and spent nearly all my time in art galleries and museums. I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t believe Botticelli’s colours, Rembrandt’s use of light, the imagination of Picasso and the simplicity of L.S. Lowry.
Eggs feature in many of your paintings. Where did that idea come from?
While I was at school, I’d bring a fried egg on rice for lunch almost every day. The other kids said I’d soon start looking like a fried egg. one day I was frying an egg and thought, that would make a great face…
What do you like about your studio?
Freedom. My studio is attached to my house and a big tree outside gives me shade while I work. Beautiful butterflies and birds nearby keep me company, as do my two dogs who lie by my side.
When I sit at my easel with my paints, brushes and palette knives, I’m in my world, with my thoughts, my feelings and a blank canvas. My feelings, like water in a river, are forever changing. I start with an idea in mind, but then it very often changes - and I love that freedom.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Many Thai people believe that when you’re born your life is mapped out for you and you can’t control your path. I never thought that - I always believed that hard work would change my life. But sometimes things do happen in a way that you haven’t planned. I discovered art by chance when I was 13, and then again when I drew a cartoon portrait of my partner when I was 38.
I believe in my future and in art. I believe I was born for it. If someone had told me, aged 13 walking around that old man’s studio, that by this time in my career I would have sent my work to over 27 countries, I would have thought them ‘tic tong’ (crazy). But who knows maybe one day I will walk on the moon.
In fashion it’s power clashing, in art it’s pattern play. Choosing art with bold patterns is a great way to bring energy, movement and style to an interior - without design commitment. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with contrasting shapes, textures and colors for an eclectic collection.
An intermingling of fresh pink flowers, lavender dots and rectilinear black and white lines never seemed so right. Though contrasting, these elements harmonise together in Alex’s print, balancing out the femininity of her floral collage with the harder, more masculine edges of geometry.
The use of pattern sets a Romantic tone in Sam Walker’s lovely original painting. Two Victorian hands, sourced from scrapbooking elements, grasp sumptuous flowers over a rich, royal blue background that brings exotic architectural patterns to mind. The oil painting brings the tradition of collage to a whole new level, with lurid color and detail.
Get your cityscape fix with a twist... Clare Halifax’s print combines the charm of urban illustration with its subdued blue hue and a hand-placed diamond pattern. Colour and pattern are important to Clare. They animate the artist’s renderings of her native London.
Legendary street artist Hush is known for meshing delicate imagery of Japanese geishas with strips of bold patterns, often using gilded paints to illuminate his figures. His canvases are even more impressive than his street pieces, with their multiple layers and textures that create depth and accentuate the sensuality of his figures. This piece is an affordable artist’s proof print - an easy way to add this heavy hitter to your collection.
5. Sunrise by Alexander Grigorev
Pattern is not just limited to painted works and collage, but can take on a new dimension with sculpture. This piece by Alexander Grigorev, although a wall hanging, uses negative space to form its sinuous pattern, allowing a collector to change the work’s context and feeling depending on where they choose to hang it. The piece’s wood grain offers an additional texture that emphasizes movement inside the circular plane.
The founders of interior design and decoration practice Salvesen Graham are an art loving duo. For Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham, art is a key player in their interiors projects. Plus they're active enthusiasts and collectors themselves. We find out more about the Salvesen Graham founders and their passion for art.
Lori Zimmer gets us excited about the upcoming Magritte exhibition at the San Fransisco MOMA. Plus we take a look at 3 Rise Art artists whose surrealist style echoes that of the Belgian master.
Photographers have been capturing the magic of the city since commercial cameras became available in the mid-1800s, and they continue to find the mystery of the urban jungle to be intriguing. We’ve rounded up a group of photographers who view the urban landscape through a unique lens.
Helen Wells uses watercolour and ink to create layered abstract works inspired by the patterns and motifs that occur in nature.
At Rise Art we believe that great art is for everybody. Discovering, enjoying and collecting art doesn’t have to be intimidating and expensive. Our Head Curator has done some digging and chosen her top art displays/events/activities currently on in London, New York and Hong Kong - and they won’t cost you a cent.
Ellie Armstrong reviews Cape Town's Zeitz MOCAA, the largest contemporary art museum in Africa.
John Quilter, more widely known as the Food Busker, talks to us about the importance of creativity.