The evening sun casts slate-gray shadows over Manhattan as your mind swims with the day’s impressions—the city’s untamed energy, its creativity, its white-hot newness. As you enter the hotel, framed artworks whir by you like stereoscope slides. A jazz band sets up and begins to play as the bar fills with locals, guests, and well-dressed walk-ins of uncertain origin. Something is about to happen, you can feel it. That’s when you realize: This is a hotel that is not a hotel, the day is far from over, and you’re in the heart of New York.
THE HOTEL — A fixture of the city since the 1920s, the Gramercy Park Hotel is a New York institution. It reopened in 2006 after a drastic, gorgeous redesign by iconic artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, who filled its halls with a rotating collection of works by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and others. Following subsequent redesigns, the Gramercy has since become a favorite haunt of New York’s contemporary creative beau monde, who flock to its Danny Meyer-helmed restaurant Maialino, as well as its Rose and Jade bars, two of the city’s most sought-after nightspots.
I’m not a designer, but I’ve always built things. Basically, I’m a painter. I built a place I’d like to be in.Julian Schnabel – Artist, Filmmaker
One of the most important artists of his generation, New Yorker Julian Schnabel came of age among the downtown scene of the 1970s and rocketed to international fame with the 1979 exhibition of his "Plate Paintings" at Mary Boone Gallery. Known in the 1980s as an enfant terrible of the Neo-Expressionist movement, he later moved into filmmaking with the 1996 biopic Basquiat, while his second film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, brought him global acclaim and numerous awards. The Gramercy Park Hotel, which he transformed in 2006 together with real estate mogul Aby Rosen and Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager, signifies his first foray into design.
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