Category Archives: Hotel Deco Busting

Secret Messages – Geheime Botschaften

Sometimes books are just plain boring or badly written, but you can trust me in trying (and usually succeeding) to find a different and more positive way to look at stuff or spend time with a boring book.

Last year, during a rainy day we were confined to our holiday bungalow. A perfect day to read, and fortunately the bungalow had a shelve with some books. Unfortunately, you had the choice between really bad writing, really boring stories or really gruesome and tasteless horror novels. So I decided on a book which was both badly written, boring and a cheap paperback.

As I said: you can trust me to uncover the secret messages which it contained…

As usual I had my tippex marker  handy, which helped me to reveal these messages by getting rid of all unnecessary and boring words.

That kept us happily busy and today I am excited to share them with you.

It is a German book, so I will try to give the best possible English translation of the poems.

Das gute Omen - A Good Omen

Das gute Omen – A Good Omen

Das Aufleuchten
war ein gutes Omen…
In der Nacht
schaufelte er aus dem Loch
Eine Sonne
Irgendein
Tag
Erinnerte auch heute an eine
Letzte Nacht.

English:
The lighting-up was a good omen… In the night he dug from a hole a sun. Any day reminds us even today of a past night.

Das Kichern in den Fingerspitzen - The Giggle in the Fingertips

Das Kichern in den Fingerspitzen – The Giggle in the Fingertips

Aber ihre Seele drohte zu zerspringen. Eine Seele wusste, wenn ein Kichern noch sehr lebending in einem Körper hause – am liebsten in den Fingerspitzen.

English:
But her soul threatened to burst. A soul knew when a very alive giggle was still dwelling in a body –preferably in the fingertips.

Magische Zeichen - Magical Signs

Magische Zeichen – Magical Signs

Auch das Gefühl, erneut emporzuschießen – so hoch wie gleißend magische Zeichen, war eine Projektion! Und für einige Augenblicke, rasten rätselhafte Worte wie veränderte Strahlen durch sein Herz.

English:
Also the feeling to again ascend – as high as glistening magical signs, was a projection! And for some moments mysterious words raced like changed rays through his heart.

Eine graue Wolke - A Grey Cloud

Eine graue Wolke – A Grey Cloud

Eine graue
Wolke formte
Ein heiseres Lachen.
Er musste niessen… Und dann war alles
vorbei!
Die Partikel sanken wie in Zeitlupe zu
Tode.

English:
A grey cloud formed a hoarse laugh.
He had to sneeze… and then everything was over.
The particles sank in slow-motion to death.

I hope you enjoyed these little stories or poems!

Love, Imke

Hotel Deco Busting: Gänseblümchen

2013 Hotel Deco Busting: Gänseblümchen A

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 7)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.(Teil 7)

Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

Gänseblümchen A (finished intervention)
Gänseblümchen A (finished intervention)

Our bungalow on the island Poel in the Baltic ocean was small, but had a few typical holiday bungalow decoration gems on offer. The colourful ceramic plate was by far the most classy and valuable piece of ‘art’, but it was chipped on the side – probably the reason why it ended up as decoration in the bungalow.

Gänseblümchen A (Original plate without intervention)
Gänseblümchen A (Original plate without intervention)

I decided that the alteration should be simple, easy to remove and just change the viewing experience slightly. I had some red tape and after some deliberation I decided a text element would be a great addition to the abstract and organic design of the plate. On the lawn in front of the building thousands of daisies started growing and I really like their German name: Gänseblümchen. The letters for the word were cut out from the 1cm broad tape and stuck to the plate.

Gänseblümchen A (Detail)
Gänseblümchen A (Detail)

Gänseblümchen A
Coloured sticky tape on found porcelain plate in a holiday bungalow on the island Poel.
approximately 45cm in diameter
July 2013

Work in progress

Work in progress

Disclaimer: It has become a habit of mine, to subtly alter and improve the decoration in hotels and holiday appartments when I have the opportunity. I do this with respect to the owners and future guests. I do not intend any harm and hope that it will put a smile on people’s faces who notice.

To see other similar projects, click HERE.

Coulrophobia – or how to face your fears

Who is afraid of the clown? Apparently enough people to have an own term for this fear: Coulrophobia.

In our holiday bungalow on Poel we found a children’s porcelain savings ‚box’ in the form of a clown’s head, used as decoration. It was so ugly and trashy that we immediately named it

Gruselclown

(German for creepy clown)

Gruselclown (Before)

Gruselclown (Before)

In a state of absolute coulrophobia, I decided that it definitely needed to get a real makeover:

Gruselclown - After our intervention

Gruselclown – After our intervention

The bookshelf had mostly thriller and horror novels on offer. With the name already set for the clown and seeing the books, it was a short way to decide to turn him into a skull. Now he had a real purpose to hold the books upright and add to the horror theme and the poor thing did not look so out-of-place anymore.

Gruselkabinett - Horror Bookshelve

Gruselkabinett – Horror Bookshelve

In good company with books titled: In the Name of the Dead and Cemetery of the Living Dead or In a Coma.

Disclaimer: It has become a habit of mine, to subtly alter and improve the decoration in hotels and holiday appartments when I have the opportunity. I do this with respect to the owners and future guests. I do not intend any harm and hope that it will put a smile on people’s faces who notice.

Pimping a framed calendar photo

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 5)

The Great Bather Detail View©ImkeRust

The Great Bather Detail View ©ImkeRust

Cutting out a landscape photo from a calendar and framing it in a cheap frame seems to be a general habit all over the world. Do people really think that is cool? Ok, it is cheap and at least usually calendar photos usually show an average pretty landscape. But still, as my art lecturer would say: “Why, Larry? Why?”

Our bungalow on the island Poel in the Baltic ocean was small, but had a few typical holiday bungalow decoration gems on offer. This faded landscape of the area was one of it and in urgent need of improvement.

Found calendar photo or the BEFORE pic

Found calendar photo or the BEFORE pic

I decided to pimp the calendar image with some ‘real’ painting and a view which looks slightly more exciting and challenging. On the previous day I photographed an old man going for a swim in the shallow water and decided to add him to the idyllic island landscape.

AFTER: The Great Bather final pic ©ImkeRust

AFTER: The Great Bather final pic ©ImkeRust

While painting, I had all kinds of ideas for the title, envisioning the man to be a mythical, cow eating giant responsible for the mysterious disappearance of the cows. Or a ghost who only appears at certain times in the water and stares at the cows before submerging in the sea again. Or just the friendly village eldest who has been going for a swim every day without fail for the past 28 years….

But I guess I leave the stories for the viewers who will hopefully notice something strange in this picture and start wondering.

Making of The Great Bather ©ImkeRusts

Making of The Great Bather ©ImkeRust

The Great Bather back on the wall©ImkeRusts

The Great Bather back on the wall©ImkeRust

Did you like this? You can view more similar actions on my webpage under Interventions. I will be posting future deco busting actions on my blog, so be sure to sign up to receive notifications of updates via email. 🙂

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 2)

In a previous blog post (A Confession) I have confessed to my urge to improve boring or ugly wall decorations in hotels or holiday apartments. Today I am sharing another similar intervention with you, before I am leaving for a short holiday at the Baltic Sea. And who knows, maybe our bungalow there is also in need of some artistic intervention? If so, you will find out about it on my blog – so, if you have not already done it, subscribe to my blog to receive notifications when I post something new.

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 2)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.(Teil 2)

Background: Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

Title: Appearance of a Woman

Date: July 2012, Location: a holiday apartment somewhere in Vítkovice, Czech Republic.
Medium: Acrylic and pen on found decorative print on wood

The 'Before' picture of a commercial flower print as found in the holiday apartment
The ‘Before’ picture of a commercial flower print as found in the holiday apartment

The holiday apartment had two exactly the same decorative commercial art prints in the bedrooms. How thoughtless and boring is that? With apologies to the original artist, I thought at least one should be more exciting than just flowers and squares. So this is how it looks now:

Altered artwork
Altered artwork
Busy with adding a portrait to the flower print.
Busy with letting the woman appear on the flower print.
View of the room with the altered artwork
View of the room with the altered artwork
Explanation and apology text which I have added to the back of the work.
Explanation and apology text which I have added to the back of the work – just in case somebody thinks of looking there.

Text added by me on the back of the artwork:

Congratulations!

You have noticed that this decoration is not your average horror experience of cheap so-called art prints, but a more stimulating and interesting mutation thereof. Such bad and soulless pictures cause an allergic reaction with me, which manifests in colours, lines and picturesque alterations.

I hope you can understand and forgive me and that you can find joy and a fresh curiosity and appreciation for true creativity and real thought-provoking , interesting and exciting original art.

Yours sincerely, Imke Rust

A Confession

I have a confession to make.
It involves hotel rooms, bad art and a developing compulsive (dis)order.

It started about 2 years ago. In a holiday bungalow in northern Germany…
I realized that every time I looked at the wall and the poor excuse-of-an-artwork hanging there, I became nauseous and my rebel soul escaped from its chains. It does not happen very often, but it has since become a serious addiction with a recognizable pattern.

Have you ever noticed the crap they hang on the walls in a room which, for a brief amount of time, is supposed to be your comfortable home away from home? A room which you usually pay a substantial amount of money for? And in my case, this money is hard-earned by producing and selling enough good art to be able to afford an occasional weekend away.

Ok, you might have not noticed. But that shall be forgiven, because usually it is so bland or so bad, that you might not even notice or remember it. But I started to feel really insulted. Usually the art they hang looks cheaper and more tasteless than the carefully selected rubbish bin in the same room.

Anyway. I just returned from a brief visit to Frankfurt. I was invited to attend the glamorous Live Entertainment Awards 2013 and accommodated in a nearby fancy hotel.

There it happened again.
Recognizing the pattern, I thought this time I rather confess straight away.

Our room on the 32nd floor was decorated with a digital print of some kind of old engraving, possibly showing an early view of Frankfurt. (There was no signature or any other information provided to trace the artwork to its original creator.) It was paced behind glass in a big golden frame and securely fastened to the wall with screws. Yes, screwed, as if the hotel worries that somebody will want to steal it?!? Ok, granted, the white pass-partout might have some kind of value on the recycling market for some poor artist…

The decoration in the hotel room... (or the "Before" picture)

The decoration in the hotel room… (or the “Before” picture)

I had to do something. Usually I never go anywhere without a small selection of essential art materials and tools, but this time I just grabbed a few pens and my sketchbook, not expecting much free time for creative adventures. Limitations often tickle me to become even more creative and soon I had a rough plan, fitting my ethics of doing as little harm as possible.

The unsuspecting hotel staff agreed to lend me a pair of scissors large enough to cut creative designs into the curtains. The hotel also provided me with a complimentary copy of a glossy magazine. Lastly I got a piece of double-sided tape from the team preparing the Frankfurt Festhalle for the LEA awards. Addicts like me, just know how to get their fix 😉

I am still not ready for the ‘show and tell’ part – please bear with me, this is not an easy confession, but I promise, it is serious fun.

Looking out of our window, we had a great view of Frankfurt am Main with its huge skyscrapers housing several large financial institutions and banks. Frankfurt a.M. is known as the financial hub of Germany, I am told. If there is something that gives me an even worse allergic reaction than bad art, it is the whole financial industry with their dubious systems and the way they rule the world.

Frankfurt am Main morning skyline view from our room

Frankfurt am Main morning skyline view from our room

With the banks in the back of my mind (even literally when I turned around from the window and looked at the artwork in our room), a magazine at hand, scissors and tape I was ready to spend the afternoon happily in our room. Much better than shopping or sight-seeing!

And now I let the pictures tell the rest:

Selecting pictures from the magazine - trying to find images that suit the original artwork in size and which add some thought-provoking content. Glad I found this one in a mag that mostly features fashion

Selecting pictures from the magazine – trying to find images that suit the original artwork in size and which add some thought-provoking content. Glad I found this one in a mag that mostly features fashion

Using the huge scissors to cut out the tiny figures was not an easy task

Using the huge scissors to cut out the tiny figures was not an easy task

The images were backed with double-sided tape

The images were backed with double-sided tape

and then carefully positioned and stuck onto the glass. (That way, it can easily be removed and I will hopefully  not have to face a 'Destruction of private property' charge.

and then carefully positioned and stuck onto the glass. That way, it can easily be removed and I will hopefully not have to face a ‘Destruction of private property’ charge.

And the results:

Hotel deco-busting collage 'Love and Devotion' by Imke Rust

Hotel deco-busting collage ‘Love and Devotion’ by Imke Rust (or the “After” picture)

Limited by the available images, materials and the fact that the decorative ‘artwork’ was behind glass and fastened to the wall, this was a great challenge, but I really like the result and think it worked out perfectly. (Thank you, dear universe, for always providing me with exactly what I need! 😉 )

Detail

Detail: centre of image with title of art work. Because the images are stuck onto the glass, they cast a shadow and the whole artwork gets a nice three-dimensional feel.

Only two images really worked for me with this picture, considering the size, colours etc., so I ended up with Chinese military procession and some models dressed in futuristic, Asian inspired fashion. While the soldiers looked quite informal, the models posed in an almost threatening and powerful way. So this work seemed to be headed into the direction of a subtle confrontation or battle. Possibly between the female and male powers? Or Europe and Asia? I was a bit apprehensive about displaying a battle or aggression, so I wanted to add some relief to this tense situation.

Detail of the deco-busting collage 'Love and Devotion' © Imke Rust

Detail of the deco-busting collage ‘Love and Devotion’ © Imke Rust

I found a speech-bubble with the text “We don’t want taxpayers having to save banks” and thought, that this statement suits my view, it would be a perfect cause for these ladies to protect and it would give the artwork a comic feel, making it a bit ‘lighter’, but still with a serious message. I also decided to give the work a title and place it in the middle of the pass-partout, like it was often done with old prints. From the limited text phrases available “Love and Devotion” seemed to be a perfect choice.

Detail of the deco-busting collage 'Love and Devotion' © Imke Rust

Detail of the deco-busting collage ‘Love and Devotion’ © Imke Rust

I then decided this should be a dialogue. If the female part is allowed to say something, then the male part will also get a voice. I found a tiny empty speech bubble in the hotel brochure and drew a heart in it and placed it above a smiling soldier…

And some more dialogue happens when you open the curtains and can see Frankfurt’s skyline with the building of the Deutsche Bank (amongst others) reflected on the image…

Reflections of the modern Frankfurt skyline on the altered image

Reflections of the modern Frankfurt skyline on the altered image

Finally the truth is out…

I love adding fun and value to the ‘artworks’ and decoration in hotel rooms or holiday apartments, and have done so on several occasions. I wish I could see the faces of the people who notice the interventions and know what they are thinking. I also wish I knew how long it takes the hotel staff to recognize the interventions and see what they decide to do about it. Hopefully it will put a smile on some people’s faces!

I plan to share some of my previous similar interventions with you too and hope that I can visit many more hotels or holiday apartments in the near future.