Hotel Art Is Being Redefined by Luxury Properties with Warhols and Slim Aarons in Their Collections

Architectural Digest | Alexandra Peers

Artist Laura Kimpton became famous for her giant, wild installations at the Burning Man Festival, so she was surprised when the glitzy Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas called to say they had bought her twelve-foot-high sculpture, LOVE. At the opening party in 2016, festival veterans, businessmen, and tourists wandering by joined in the Champagne toast. But months later, Kimpton was in bed watching TV only to see the well-known cast of a reality TV show climbing on her artwork. Dozens of luxury hotels are now using pricey art—like Damien Hirst’s gold-encrusted woolly mammoth out by the pool at Miami’s ritzy Faena Hotel—as shorthand to flag guests that they are staying at a high-end, design-savvy insider property. The strategy sometimes soars, sometimes backfires, but one thing’s for sure: In the art world, nobody expected The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to be climbing on their work.

As art has skyrocketed in value and visibility in recent years, several dozen so-called art hotels have sprung up around the world. Others, like the Pierre in New York, have recently launched dedicated gallery spaces, while some who’ve long had major art collections, like the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee’s Victorian art, are just playing up their treasures…read more

Image: A woman walks past the ‘Garyu-no-Sato’ sculpture in the lobby of Tokyo’s Peninsula Hotel. Getty Images/Will Robb