Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hotel Art

As I end up the travel nights in my hotel room in San Diego's Hotel Circle, and after a massive meal at Ortega's (still the best Mexican restaurant in San Diego by the way), I again noticed the crappy "wall decor" that goes for art in most hotel lobbies and rooms in this nation.

And it reminded me of a stunt that I used to pull with hotel artwork years ago (which now would be called an "art project"). And I mean years ago, somewhere between the late 70's and the early 2000's, during the time before the crap that passes for art in most hotel rooms was attached to the wall so securely that it would take a small nuclear device to remove it from the wall.

Anyway, between the late 70's (I'd say around 1976 or so) and the early 2000's, it was my usual practice, as sort of a personal artistic jihad, to take down the framed "art" in these hotel rooms, take the frame apart, and remove the usual poster or reproduction that was the art, turn it around, and draw (and once in a while actually paint) a "new" original work on the verso of the poster.

It was usually a simple, figurative line drawing, more often than not done while watching TV, and often inspired by the TV show itself. Some were more elaborate than others, and every once in a while a really involved drawing would emerge.

Once finished, I would re-frame the new work, and re-hang it on the wall.

I did this probably around 200 times in hotel rooms in Europe, Canada, Mexico and all over the United States.