Artfully Done

The Lexington New York City itself is a work of art, melding high-end architectural design with chic, historic accents to maximize style and comfort. Rows of winged lions decorate the building’s façade and terracotta figures flank the Lexington Avenue entrance, reminiscent of those adorning Notre Dame. The spacious marble-floored lobby features sky-scraping pillars and plush décor echoing the glamour and sophisticated style of the 1920s, while the hotel’s hallways present Soho-style black and white prints of the city’s most notable landmarks.

The Lexington NYC is complemented by a distinctive art collection commissioned by art aficionado and industry expert, Paige Powell. The collection is intended for the discerning eye of the luxury business and leisure traveler with a taste and appreciation for works that reflect the property’s rich history and New York-centric music and entertainment tradition.

The artists featured in the Lexington New York City’s collection are both local and internationally renowned and work within a wide range of mediums – murals, photography, three-dimensional installations and more. Through curating this magnificent collection, Powell has commissioned works that reflect the property’s commitment to preserve its uniquely New York jazz age past while also providing fresh new perspectives on classic works. Highlights of the commissioned art and artists include:

ALEX ASHER DANIEL

Located near our lobby elevators, these four portraitspainted by New York City artist Alex Asher Daniel, represent four generationsof the New York City jazz scene. 

This collection is a nod to The Lexington's rich jazzhistory, while also highlighting the talent of the city's contemporaryjazz era.  

The subjects are veteran jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan,legendary free jazz bassist William Parker, acclaimed trumpeter Jeremy Pelt,and band leader Jonathan Batiste. 

These great musicians sat for their portraits during the winter of 2012, and were painted by Mr. Daniel exclusively for our collection.

ALEX MOREL

Featured in our Centerfield Suite, fondly called our Joe DiMaggio Suite-living room wall is a diptych that includes Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio caught in a gaze.  Married for less than a year, it was an affair of two personages.  Joe really loved Marilyn; when you love someone you never want him or her to disappear from your life.  Love should not be temporary.  It is not something that exists only for that time in which a couple is together.  True love resonates in the lover whether together or apart.

ALBA CLEMENTE

With pieces prominently displayed our lobby, Clemente says “My background is theater and I am approaching The Lexington New York City lobby as a stage.  I am designing the pattern for four large screens and an imaginary balcony with a southern view of Manhattan. I want to create mysterious Indian marble screens, but with a contemporary eye.”

ARTHOUSE at Brooklyn Flea

The Lexington New York City features the work of two artists from Arthouse (at Brooklyn Flea).  They are Michael Considine and Will Oransky.  Jennifer Curcic is the founder of Arthouse. She formed it with a group of young artists as a special project to make affordable handmade art.  All works for sale are created specifically for Arthouse.  They are hand-drawn, hand-painted or handcrafted, and are priced by the individual artist as affordable as possible. The works are unsigned in order to differentiate them from other pieces they sell privately.  The venue is used as a creative outlet to pursue personal means of expression, to experiment with different techniques or subject matter, and to create profit in order to support the artists.  The goal is to encourage the appreciation and ownership of art, especially among those who have felt priced out of or intimidated by the art world.

CREATIVE GROWTH ART CENTER

The Lexington New York City features the work of five artists from the Creative Growth Art Center based in Oakland, CA.  These artists include Dan Miller, Donald Mitchell, George Wilson, Gerone Spruill, and Monica Valentine.  Creative Growth Art Center Creative Growth Art Center serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, providing a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery exhibition and representation, and a social atmosphere among peers. Artwork fostered in this unique environment is included in prominent collections and museums worldwide.

JESSICA BONIN

Located in The Mixing Room, our Lobby Bar Mural, this atmospheric cityscape mural exudes a feeling of history with a rich golden patina, drawing reference to the artwork in the historic Bemelman’s Bar.  A fish-eye perspective of repeating city blocks emphasizes the grandiosity of New York City architecture, dwarfing the viewer from a street’s-eye perspective.

JOHN W.TRACY

City of Dreams/Photography of five subjects: turntable, drums, Brooklyn Bridge, amp, and a neon New York sign placed throughout our public space and specialty suites. His inspiration for this art series, City of Dreams, was the New York City lifestyle, the culture as seen and heard through music, and its endearing sense of charm and romance through the stunning one of a kind city landscapes.

MATT JAY

Featured on a Video screen in our Library, this piece travels the length of Manhattan end to end, as the camera in "Island" does, reveals an inherent poetic structure to the city that can only be felt when taken in full.  As a linear journey, the city both begins and ends in nature, with the opposite atmosphere in between. There is also an extended interlude of nature in Central Park that fulfills the atmospheric back and forth of quiet, chaos, quiet, chaos, quiet. It is a structure that can be seen as musical, or even narrative. The 16mm format is an aesthetic and conceptual choice that lends the piece a grainy texture; it mirrors the rich historic nature of The Lexington New York City, as well as producing a physical piece of film that speaks to the idea of creating the tangible and non-ephemeral. 

The star of our hand-curated art collection is certainly RUBEN TOLEDO from Deco-Dance/Paintings with watercolor, ink, and graphite –transferred to vinyl displayed in the entrance into the lobby elevator bank, from our Stairwell leading dramatically up to mezzanine level and up the Mezzanine walls.  Guest floor corridors also feature five different prints at each landing.

Statement of Work by Ruben Toledo

This is my interpretation and extrapolation of the legend and the spirit of Art Deco architecture, The Canyon THAT IS New York CITY ARCHITECTURE, THE FUSION OF jazz, literature, art, graphic design, and the spirit of travel and discovery both spiritually and also physically-- all for the visual joy of public consumption.

Bio

Ruben Toledo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1961. He is at once a painter, sculptor, illustrator, fashion chronicler and critic, and surrealist wit. The changing posture of fashion and the body language of style are two of his constant obsessions and appear as themes throughout his work. “The greatest fashion illustrator chronicling our time, Toledo is the artist who gives us the vocabulary and the unforgettable images that meld fashion at its most ephemeral and impressionable with style at its most abiding”, writes Richard Martin, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in the introduction to Toledo’s published “Style Dictionary”.

 Ruben Toledo has designed mannequins, store windows, award statuettes, scarves, fabrics, dishes and carpets. He has painted murals, portraits, album covers and barns. He has also created witty and incisive illustrations for the top fashion magazines and journals from around the world, among them The New Yorker, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Paper, Visionaire, Interview Magazine and The New York Times . He has created numerous images and art installations for Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and Barneys New York among others.  Toledo’s work has been on exhibit throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the MoMu in Antwerp, as well as several one-man shows and exhibitions.

Ruben Toledo is the author of Style Dictionary, a collection of his drawings and watercolors.  Mr. Toledo completed his first film in 2004 -- an animated  history of French fashion entitled, Fashionation, sponsored by Syndicat de Couture in Paris and by Nordstrom, for which he designed the national ad campaign.  This ten-year collaboration was celebrated with the publication of Ruben Toledo’s Fashion Almanac in 2010.  His collaboration with his fashion designer wife, Isabel Toledo, was the subject of both a book and a museum exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1998 entitled Toledo/Toledo: A Marriage of Art and Fashion.  A thirty-year retrospective exhibition of the Toledos’ work was recently mounted at Miami’s Freedom Tower in 2012.

Awards include the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2005 and the Fashion Group International Visionary Award in 2007.

Ruben Toledo holds an Honorary Doctorate degree in Fine Art from the Otis College of Art and Design.

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