As a full-service art consulting firm, Vancouver’s Farmboy Fine Arts is a team behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest hospitality chains and coolest boutique hotels. Their role? To curate art collections and dress up the decor with some incredible graphic work and design. Every time we travel we wonder how we can bring a little of that boutique hotel feel home, so we quizzed Design Director Craig David Long to give us a behind the scenes look at the hotel art world and how we can expand our horizons beyond Ikea Klimts and MoMA posters.
ARE THERE ANY MOVEMENTS OR TRENDS IN THE ART WORLD RIGHT NOW? It is very hard to pinpoint thematic or aesthetic trends that span the art world at large, because art is such a vast and expansive thing. Art can be decorative or conceptual, contemporary or historic, and there is great variety within between artistic practices, such as style, medium, or what an individual artist’s thematic interests are. There are also many regional differences between art communities, based on social and cultural factors, the local market’s appetite for art, and the maturity of that artistic community.
Within hospitality, however, that is definitely where trends start to emerge. For hotels in the three- and four-star range, we are beginning to see some departure from traditional hung artwork, like framed art and canvases, though those will always be present. We are seeing art take on more architectural applications, such as printing imagery on substrates like metal, glass, mirror and textiles; the trend toward large graphic wall murals; as well as incorporating three dimensional and modular wall art in the guest rooms and public areas.
At the higher end, we have definitely seen hotels really begin to understand and appreciate the cultural, social and investment value of collecting fine and contemporary art as a long-term strategy. Our company has been a long believer that collecting fine art originals not only enhances the guest experience, but it can also foster dialogue with the local community and even yield financial return over time as well.