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Art of the Stay

To celebrate 21c Museum Hotels joining the MGallery Hotel Collection and the entrée of MGallery into the North American market, Accor has unveiled an extraordinary new Paint Your Passport package—a collection of bespoke experiences providing unparalleled insider access at all eight 21c Museum Hotels across the country.

To mark the occasion, MGallery also popped up a transparent hotel room dubbed the ‘Masterpiece Suite’ for an interactive art installation in one of the most highly trafficked areas in Midtown Manhattan—Penn Plaza. Highlighting the ‘art of the stay’, artist Aaron De La Cruz lived in the pop-up glass hotel room for a full 24 hours while transforming the space into his own visual masterpiece. What began as the most unexpected canvas—an all-white room with everything from the bedding and flooring, to the lampshades and walls, painted white—came to life in front of passersby’s eyes with his addition of vibrant color and immersive design on every inch of the space.

“I knew when going into this project that I wanted to start out with the idea of just lying down in bed and looking up at the sky, that’s something I daydream of doing whenever I travel to a hotel. With that, and me being removed, I knew that for the 24 hours I was really cutting myself off,” De La Cruz told InspireDesign.

Coinciding with the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, an invite-only cocktail party took place during the evening of June 3, allowing industry VIPs, tastemakers, media and influencers to get an exclusive view of this one-of-a-kind creative experience. Chanel Iman, international supermodel, came out to join in on the fun and brought De La Cruz some room-service treats while chatting about his inspiration and their shared love of art. In the true MGallery spirit of storytelling, The Haiku Guys were also at the cocktail party, outfitted in luxury pajama sets while they typed customized, daydream-inspired poems on vintage typewriters for guests.

“A lot of the time my work is inspired by family and my thoughts,” De La Cruz said. “I wanted this idea of these colored circles wherever they were placed in the room they would start on the wall and be inside the black marks. As those came down, the idea was that those thoughts—the colors for me represented thoughts—and as those came off the wall, or fell off of whatever it may be, those activated into something.”

De La Cruz. worked his entire way through without sleeping—something the artist hasn’t done since college—only taking two 40-minute breaks in the entire 24 hours, one to eat, the other to shower. The artist said that he wanted to test himself to see what he was capable of, noting his love for the physical demand required for creating artwork, and people took notice.

While walking past the room, spectators took out their phones to capture De La Cruz’s work, but what stood out most to the artist was seeing kids’ reactions.

“I really try to wow a younger person because at that age it will be a moment that they will hopefully remember for the rest of their lives,” he said.