Hotel Clarion in Stockholm has drawn inspiration from the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York, which allowed well-known artists and musicians to stay in return for their art.
“It all started with the fact that our general manager's grandfather was an artist,” Clarion Hotel's PR and marketing manager Tess Mattisson explains. “His grandfather actually had some of his work hanging in the Chelsea Hotel, and now that their hotel has closed down, the manager was so inspired by it that our hotel will continue the tradition.”
The art-as-pay idea is being launched on Friday and according to the hotel, anything goes, provided it fits on an A4 piece of paper. There are absolutely no limitations to the art - poetry, paintings, even meaningless squiggles can get you a room. And just like the Chelsea hotel did, the art will be stored in the hotel, which will own the full rights to each piece. So if you are Picasso, maybe rent a room instead. For up and coming artists, this is a great deal.
“Who are we to be judgmental about art? Accommodation is what we know and we're happy to provide it. Everyone is welcome here, from young and upcoming artists to those that are already established.
We want to build an atmosphere for artists to meet, and we want our hotel to be the number one art choice for people who come to Stockholm – and even Sweden!” says Tess Mattisson.
You will still need a credit card though, all the artists leave a credit card with the hotel at check-in, because that's how it is according to Swedish hotel regulations. Still, I like this idea.