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See How a Hotel Brand's Pop-Up Suite Became a 24-Hour Art Installation

To celebrate 21c Museum Hotels joining MGallery Hotel Collection, the two brands presented a pop-up hotel suite in Manhattan that served as a blank canvas for muralist Aaron De La Cruz.

The Masterpiece Suite pop-up took place June 3 and 4 near New York's Penn Station. The glass-enclosed hotel room featured all-white furniture that served as a canvas for artist Aaron De La Cruz.
The Masterpiece Suite pop-up took place June 3 and 4 near New York's Penn Station. The glass-enclosed hotel room featured all-white furniture that served as a canvas for artist Aaron De La Cruz.
Photo: Courtesy of MGallery

NEW YORK—It’s not common to see a glass-enclosed hotel room pop-up in the middle of a Manhattan street—but it’s even more unusual to see an artist splatter the walls and furniture in paint. Last week, 21c Museum Hotels and MGallery Hotel Collection commissioned muralist Aaron De La Cruz to use an all-white hotel suite as a canvas, which he painted over the course of a day.

The Masterpiece Suite, which stopped passersby and commuters outside of New York’s Penn Station, was held to celebrate 21c, a chain of boutique hotel-contemporary art museum hybrids, joining Accor Hotels' MGallery, and also marking the entry of MGallery into the North American market. The stunt, which took place June 3 and 4, also was held in conjunction with Accor’s launch of the Paint Your Passport package, which offers hotel guests a collection of experiences that provide insider access to the eight 21c Museum Hotel properties across the U.S.

“Our objective was to drive brand awareness and consideration through the creation of an interactive, experiential platform that would bring to life both brands’ spirit of discovery, storytelling, and creative hospitality,” said Jeff Doane, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Accor Hotels in North and Central America. “So the ‘art of the stay’ was born. We built a pop-up glass hotel room in the highly trafficked Penn Plaza, and tapped artist Aaron De La Cruz to take this unexpected canvas—an all-white room with everything from the bedding and flooring, to the lampshades and walls, painted white—and transform it over 24 hours through vibrant color and immersive design on every inch of the space.”

Cruz incorporated his signature deconstructed letters into the design, as well as the colors of 21c Museum Hotel's penguin mascot.Cruz incorporated his signature deconstructed letters into the design, as well as the colors of 21c Museum Hotel's penguin mascot.Photo: Courtesy of MGallery

LFB Media Group built the hotel suite, which featured a layout that took inspiration from MGallery’s collection of more than 100 hotels in 27 countries.

“We were able to strengthen the ties to the brand by incorporating a few ‘soulful objects’—icons that represent famed MGallery properties around the globe—such as the bikini for Hotel Molitor Paris and the typewriter for INK Hotel Amsterdam,” said Doane.

De La Cruz took the reins on the design, which included his signature black, deconstructed letters and shapes.

“Our only specifications were to incorporate the colors from the iconic 21c penguins, and the ‘soulful objects’ from the MGallery brand campaign,” said Doane. “We chose Aaron as a partner for this project because his vision aligned with ours, so we trusted him to create work that would also be reflective of MGallery.”

The finished product was left on display on June 4. The outside of the pop-up displayed information about MGallery's monthlong consumer contest, which offers a chance to win curated hotel experiences.The finished product was left on display on June 4. The outside of the pop-up displayed information about MGallery's monthlong consumer contest, which offers a chance to win curated hotel experiences.Photo: Courtesy of MGallery

The stunt kicked off with an invite-only cocktail party at the Pennsy, and coincided with the N.Y.U. International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. Along with the pop-up, MGallery is running a consumer contest through June 30, offering a chance to win a number of curated experiences. To enter, participants have to post a picture of the Masterpiece Suite, tag @MGallery and use the hashtag #WinMGallery.

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