From curated fairy lights to towering Christmas trees, it’s that time of year when boutique hotels pull out all the stops. For travelers seeking more than standard baubles, the ART, a hotel does Christmas differently. The Denver-based hotel showcases holiday décor inspired by famous artists to perfectly complement an impressive collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and art installations.
Operating as “a museum within a hotel,” the ART, a hotel is a luxury, 165-room space located in Denver’s Golden Triangle. In keeping with the hotel’s commitment to the exhibition of artworks by some of the 20th and 21st century’s most celebrated artists, the ART has erected a series of inspired Christmas trees designed by local florist, The Perfect Petal.
With inspiration from the oeuvres of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and Vance Kirkland, The Perfect Petal has designed four Christmas tree concepts reminiscent of each modern master’s aesthetic.
“We envision sleek, art-inspired modern holiday installations combining unique and unexpected elements to play off of the ART hotel’s selected art pieces,” explains The Perfect Petal. “The focus will be on white and blue trees, accented with bright pops of red, yellow, and blue, keeping blue a strong thread throughout to create a fun holiday statement that elevates already stunning look and feel of the ART.”
A nine-and-a-half foot white tree fitted with custom block ornaments serves as the Andy Warhol tree. Accented with the bright blues, reds, yellows, and pinks that characterize the pop artist’s oeuvre, the real giveaway lies at the tree’s base, lined by “gifts” featuring his famous portraits and Campbell’s soup cans.
A deep blue tree adorned with earthy grapevines, as well as oversized ornaments of white and varying shades of blue nods to Claes Oldenburg’s and Coosje van Bruggen’s Big Sweep (2006), on view at the Denver Art Museum with a scale model in the hotel. Part of the Dust Bin of History series, Big Sweep portrays a small brown broom sweeping pieces of crumpled up paper into a big blue dustpan.
The concept was inspired by the city workers cleaning Denver’s streets on the city’s windy days, while the dustpan’s tilt mirrors the shape of the mountains. The Swedish-born sculptor is best known for his large-scale installations depicting replicas of everyday objects, from utensils to tools and food items.
The dynamic, Denver-based painter Vance Kirkland serves as the inspiration for his eponymous tree. “Gorgeous swirled and paint-dyed glass millimeter ball ornaments in monochromatic reds and fuchsias with contrasting cobalt blue ball ornaments will mimic the feel of Opposing Forces,” explains The Perfect Petal.
Kirkland’s large-scale painting Enigma of Magnetic Forces hangs in the ART’s boardroom, Opposing Forces. The local artist was known to paint a series of abstract artworks featuring a predominantly red canvas with blue and yellow details.
Finally, the Roy Lichtenstein tree stands the tallest at 14 feet. A white base is detailed with polka-dotted white and primary-colored baubles that enlist the New York City-born and -based pop artist’s comic strip-inspired aesthetic.
Clusters of oversized yellow ornaments, huge red lips, and streamers of red, white, and blue evoke Lichtenstein’s Girl with Hair Ribbon (1965), depicting a blonde girl with bright red lips and a red, white, and blue ribbon in her hair.
Far from the generic photography and run-of-the-mill décor present in so many hotels, the ART caters to art aficionados and the art-curious alike with a bespoke collection of original artworks.
Guests are greeted by an enormous, 22,000-piece LED light installation by American artist Leo Villareal, followed by Lars Kremer’s 1994 video Anatomy Lessons in the elevator, and a large-scale painting titled Industrial Strength Sleep (2007) by revered artist Ed Ruscha in the hotel’s “Welcome Gallery”. All the while, floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalleled views of the cityscape for what the hotel calls “the perfect blend of sophisticated visual stimulation and intriguing emotional appeal.”
Villareal’s abstract light installation, as well as Larry Bell’s Light Knots (2014) installation in the hotel’s restaurant, were specifically commissioned for the space, while other artworks by the world’s foremost artists, including but not limited to Tracey Emin, Frank Gehry, Kiki Smith, John Baldessari, and Jim Dine come from across the country and around the world.
“The art on view…was chosen to provide our guests with unique and unexpected opportunities to enjoy works of art in a luxurious and sophisticated yet casual environment,” explains the hotel’s press release. “Playful, serious, advanced and traditional, we hope everyone will find his or her own favorite work.”
The ART, a hotel, 1201 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, +1 303 572 8000