Blek le Rat commented, "I am most honored to contribute to the inspiring artistic legacy of these two institutions -- the Quin, whose earlier residents include O'Keeffe and Chagall, and the New York Academy of Art, which was co-founded by Andy Warhol. I also feel very fortunate to collaborate with master printer John Jacobsmeyer in creating this collection." DK Johnston added, "Throughout this creative tour de force now known as the Escaping Paris exhibition, I've witnessed the maestro of stencil art stretch artistically and deliver on the near dormant monotype form with the elegance of his simplicity."
Widely recognized as the "Father of stencil graffiti," and "the man that gave birth to Banksy," Xavier Prou first rose to prominence under the pseudonym, Blek le Rat, in Paris in the 1980s. The rat, a symbol of the persistent spread of street art and an anagram for the word art, is an apt marker for the influential artist. Inspired by the early graffiti of the 1970s in New York City, particularly the work of TAKI 183 and UK transplant Richard Hamilton, Prou's iconic work rapidly spread throughout Paris and Europe. Today, Blek le Rat is celebrated globally and is credited for having paved the way for street artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Kaws.
His principles, however, remain true to his roots. Blek le Rat has repeatedly expressed his preference for the streets over galleries, maintaining that it is the ethical and social obligation of an artist to connect with as many people as possible. Similarly, Quin Arts' objective has always been to connect patrons with distinguished contemporary creators in an immersive setting. Holly Breuche, General Manager of the Quin, stated, "In conceiving the Quin Arts program, we wanted to celebrate the hotel's unique history as an artists' residence by building a multidimensional space in which guests can encounter new work alongside those producing it today. Art has been a fundamental element of hotel design for a long time, but for us, it's more than ornamental. Art is a part of our identity, and we seek to share this spirit in every aspect of the guest experience. We are proud to present Blek le Rat, an artist who has transformed a entire city's visual culture by challenging us to think about what is going on in society, and ultimately, to create change."
DK Johnston said, "The Quin's commitment to culture has been the impetus for what has connected a world of patrons and artists together here in New York City. Furthermore, New York Academy of Art and its co-founder Eileen Guggenheim are at the pinnacle of high art, and I feel very privileged to work with Ms. Guggenheim in bringing these communities and techniques together through this exhibition." Ms. Guggenheim added, "This partnership is a great opportunity for our students, because the Academy is about studying Old Masters and making art that is fresh and new. Blek le Rat is an Old Master of Street Art. So, by collaborating with him on this project, students are seeing figuration in an innovative and relevant genre."
The Quin's permanent collection includes Blek le Rat's "Love America" on the 14th floor and loaned works from DK Johnston of the "Great Wedding" on the second floor, "What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen" in the Boardroom, and "Tango" in the Drawing Room. Most recently, the artist commemorated this collaboration on the Quin's façade with an image of Andy Warhol. "Andy Warhol" by Blek le Rat can be seen on 57th Street near Sixth Avenue.
Quin Arts enriches the hotel's creative programming by connecting guests with New York City's thriving culture through an ongoing series of culturally significant events, exhibitions, salons, lectures, film premieres, book debuts, musical performances and artist receptions. This multi-media initiative extends to a substantial permanent collection, along with an artist-in-residence program, grand displays on the lobby's 15-foot abstract video art wall, which are specifically created for the hotel, and intimate salons with participating artists.
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About the Quin
The Quin, New York City's newest luxury lifestyle hotel is located on the corner of 57th Street and 6th Avenue. At the intersection of art, music, and fashion, its privileged Midtown location provides effortless access to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Museum of Modern Art and Fifth Avenue couture. The Quin melds modern opulence with its rich artistic heritage in each of its 208 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms including 28 suites. Guests enjoy urbane and intelligent services, from the Attaché, who curate a guest's New York experience, to distinguished amenities like an Executive Boardroom for 10, state-of-the-art Technogym fitness center, Apple equipped drawing room, Dux® beds by Duxiana®, Fresh® Spa Products and a two-story, 130-seat artisanal American grill, The Wayfarer, showcasing a menu of fresh regional seafood. Quin Arts is an interactive arts program that celebrates the property's rich artistic heritage and produces exciting new platforms for contemporary artists. Renowned architecture and interior design firm, Perkins Eastman, has transposed a contemporary masterpiece on the classical foundation that was once home to cultural icons like pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski and artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Resonating with refined repose, the Quin is the Quintessential New York Hotel. http://www.theQuinhotel.com/
About New York Academy of Art
Founded in 1982 by artists, scholars and patrons of the arts, including Andy Warhol, New York Academy of Art is a graduate school that combines intensive technical training in the fine arts with active critical discourse. The Academy believes that rigorously trained artists are best able to realize their artistic vision. Academy students are taught traditional methods and techniques and encouraged to use these skills to make vital contemporary art. The Academy serves as a creative and intellectual center for all artists dedicated to highly skilled, conceptually aware figurative and representational art. http://www.nyaa.edu/
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