For more than 80 years the Hotel Chelsea has been at the centre of bohemian New York City life, with the famous and the infamous calling it their home. From Sid Vicious to the Warhol Superstars, the hotel has had its fair share of ‘creative’ types… and last month, the PHOA team joined that list. The Chelsea for people that don’t know it, is known as the world’s most rock n roll hotel, it was the home for abstract artists and hippy musicians in the 60’s, at the forefront of the punk scene in the 70’s and in the 80’s, Madonna, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, and George Kleinsinger, the American composer who shared his apartment with his collection of reptiles, which included an alligator, a 3.6M python, a large sea turtle in a glass tank… and his 20 year old girlfriend (he was in his 70s).
Entering the famous establishment was somewhat of an unnerving experience, even without knowing its incredible history. The gloomy, neo-gothic aesthetic and bizarre but splendid paintings hanging on the walls, it really is a place like no other… and the best place to kick off our newest exhibition, “The Devil Inside Me”. After an incredible week at The Affordable Art Fair, two of the PHOA team were kindly invited to the hotel, after one of its residents bought one of the signature pieces of from our newest collection, Luxuria (Lust) by Dutch artist, Elizabeth Koning. The piece, which was to be displayed in the residents penthouse suit will overlook the beautiful NYC skyline.
Mark Rothko lived there. Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen there, Arthur C Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there. Dylan Thomas drank himself to death there, and Leonard Cohen famously pleasured Janis Joplin there, giving rise to one of his most famous songs – and the most famous celebration in song of a hotel ever – “I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel, you were talking so brave and so sweet…".
Written by Felix Brown for The Public House of Art.