For getaway month, this hotel takes us away from the idea that serious art needs to be taken too seriously. Art in the rest room, in the hallway, in the stairwell, at happy hour. The take-home lesson of this independent Minneapolis hotel is that even serious art is meant to be lived with.
Owner Ralph Burnet converted the Chambers
from site of an old flophouse and adult book store into a hotel unlike any other. In it are 200 pieces from his own personal contemporary art collection, including a strong showing by Young British Artist Movement.
The hotel maintains its own art gallery, but most striking is how art lives in every corner. It hangs in the bars. It plays on video screens in the restrooms, the hallways and on your TV. It gets rained on. You always notice something you didn't on your last stay.
Irreverence rules even in the collection itself—this sculpture Subodh Guptoa is made of kitchen chapatti tongs ubiquitous in his native India
This Gavin Turk sculpture is a frequent target of plastic cups, cigarette packs and other trash—for obvious reason.
David Rockwell-designed interiors are simple backdrops to more original art in each of the 60 rooms.
Even the stairwell is not immune.
Here, souvenirs come via Art-0-Meter a converted cigarette machine that sells, yep, art.
Damien Hirst is a favorite, including an unorthodox welcome at the front desk.
Courtyard wit. The one-armed gorilla is especially poignant in the winter, surrounded by snow.
The bar and lobby are staggering, including this mesmerizing 3-D man-bust, freakishly realistic in freckle, age spot, hair and wrinkle. See more on the hotel's site.
Photo exterior: Jerry Swanson for Chambers
Photos 2nd from top (room) & bottom (lobby): Stuart Lorenz for Chambers, David