Before its renovation, it first needed to be entirely deconstructed. Or at least that’s what SIXTY Hotels owner Jason Pomeranc thought, and what better way than to start the deconstruction with graffiti? Last night Pomeranc relinquished control of his hotel to nine graffiti artists known collectively as Smart Crew for one final night of debauchery. The artists took over the second floor of the hotel, which was formerly known as the Thompson Hotel, and created an interactive, one-night-only installation.
“I think that something like this personalizes the art and architecture of the hotel world,” Pomeranc told us. “The idea of tagging it, getting really raw with the street art, and physically breaking stuff. You don’t really think of that in a hotel.”
Using a strict color scheme including black and white, as well as hues of blue, green and red, Smart Crew covered the walls, creating mural-sized word searches, mazes and paint-by-numbers. It was a blown-up children’s activity book oddly out of place.
After talking to Natalia Kills about her upcoming wedding and custom-made white velvet dress, we made our way inside and upstairs to join the party where we were offered tubes of paint, markers and complete artistic license. Guests had already found Smart Crew’s hidden words and traced their way through the mazes, so we joined in as everyone created their own, often absurd and senseless, drawings–think bloody bunnies and #EveryWordImaginable. Once the walls and windows were thrice covered, people took to drawing on unlikely surfaces, including the elevator doors.
At the end of the night, Smart Crew emerged carrying sledgehammers and wearing face masks (they really do maintain their anonymity). They took the sledgehammers to the walls and destroyed what they had created only hours earlier as Natalia Kills and others, like SZA, Vashtie and Venus X watched. The demolition marked the official end of the Thompson Hotel and start of the SIXTY SoHo renovation.
“You’re so disciplined in hotel culture today,” Pomeranc continued. “You’re so stylized. For one night, it’s fun not to be.” For one night, or many, we couldn’t agree more.