Forget museums or art galleries, hotel rooms are full of aesthetic masterpieces, says Kevin Pilley.
Some people are into the Impressionists. Others enjoy surrealism.
I'm really into my hotel bedroom art.
Every hotel room is an exhibition space showcasing all kinds of artistic talents and temperaments. Every room invites you to get into it. Don't bother with local museums or galleries.
The "Please Make Up My Room" sign hanging on your door is a direct plea from one creative imagination to another. An invitation to enter a new world. Which is constantly asking you questions. And throwing out intellectual challenges.
And aesthetic experiences. And asking the big questions about the travelling life.
Like: What is this room trying to tell me? When does minimalism shade into spartan? When there is no heated towel rail? Or bidet?
It addresses perception. Is that a shire horse or a lizard in that painting above the bed?
Can you get terns that big? Or is that meant to be seagull? Or a pterodactyl?
Aviculture is in the eyes of the beholder.
Are the minibar prices truly surreal?
Hotel rooms are thought-provoking places. Every en suite lock asks you to engage it. The complimentary stationery on the writing desk begs you to address it.
The shaver socket has a point. Perhaps even three.
Hotel rooms are places of inspiration. Who cannot stand in front of a shower and be inspired to eventually have a shower?
There is so much to take away from a hotel room. Unless the coat hangers are bolted down.
What could be more expressive than a carpet stain?
Whenever I enter a hotel room I always try to understand the standing lamp - or at least, how to switch the thing off. I try to get inside the wardrobe. I also take time to get to know the chambermaids who have devoted their lives to reinventing soap.
I live in hotels. And, as a result, I have slept with more geniuses and unacclaimed painters, sculptors, ceramicists, photographers and maverick fabric artists than I can remember.
Some have affected me more than others. Some works of art have changed what's inside my head.
Like the acrylic coastal moonscape that fell on me in the middle of the night in India. It changed my perception of the world - at least until the concussion cleared. I have been lucky to stand in front of some of the most amazing fruit baskets. Who needs Cezanne?
In my deepest depressions, when I am overwhelmed by qualms for civilisation and the frenzy of trivial endeavour that is my daily life, I am consoled and uplifted by hotel art.
I lie in my bed and lose myself in the artexing on the ceiling. I appreciate its poignant rendering. And obvious debts to both Turner and de Kooning.
In your hotel room, being awake becomes just as much an experience as being asleep. The decor pulls at your heart strings as much as the nylon sheets pull at your toenails.
Stare at the air-conditioning grill for long enough and it becomes art. Up there with the best. It has resonance.
I have been awed by nudes on the pay-per-view channels and left dumb-struck by the staggering trompe-l'oeil effects achieved by colour emotionalism. Particularly beneath the taps and around the plug.
I have become an aficionado of limescale. Colour symbolism worthy of Kandinsky.
Your hotel bath can be seen as a submerged allegory. The shower can be a stimulating place to stand. And the tiling almost Rothko-esque.
The adjustable shaving mirror can tell you new things about yourself. Aside from observations about the fascination with the self.
Inside hotel rooms is where it's at.
Curtains open up new vistas. Switches allow you to admire the use of light. Lifts can be elevating and take you to a higher level.
The hallways can take you places. The phone and broadband internet access can tell you things.
Even the concierge's haircut could be viewed as "original". As well as "significant".
Especially in determinedly "boutique" hotels.
Every hotel has its own worth and artistic merit. Every hotel is architecturally striking.
Especially if you go the wrong way through the revolving door.
Push the right buttons, flick the right switches and allow yourself to look at things in a different way and all will be revealed. Because whichever way you look at it - as long as you look at it - everywhere is an inspirational canvas. Worthy of praise. Someone has made it happen. Push open the doors of perception.
Hotels offer accessible public art in its most private form.
That is, if you book early and know how to unlock the doors.