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At first glance, the Diaghilev Live Art Boutique Hotel, situated on Tel Aviv's Mazeh Street, resembles a typical Tel Aviv museum or gallery. 600 art pieces by 40 Israeli artists adorn the hotel's public spaces, while each room displays a unique art piece - which you may come to appreciate during you stay, and possibly even buy and take as a memento from your experience in the hotel.
The hotel was opened in 2010, and its focus on the arts is manifested in different manners, including working spaces for startups developing ideas - an art form in itself. In the hotel, you can find numerous paintings and sculptures of various styles, a collection of hand woven carpets and more. The hotel's concept revolves around Sergei Diaghilev, an early 20th century Russian producer who lived in Paris and established a ballet group. Diaghilev collaborated with some of the great artists of his time, such as Picasso, Miró and Matisse, who produced scenery for the ballet, and Coco Chanel who, among other things, designed costumes for the dancers. At the same time, the hotel is not a mausoleum for Diaghilev, but rather a place devoted to promoting local art.
The hotel's exhibitions and art pieces are renewed annually, as an entire exhibition. During the year, new pieces might be introduced to replace those purchased by visitors; most pieces sold are indeed those displayed in the hotel rooms.
The Diaghilev is not alone: other hotels devoted to furthering Israeli art include Zikhron Yaakov's Elma Hotel, an initiative by Lily Elstein, a descendant of a family with a long heritage in Zikhron Yaakov. Elstein had taken the place under her wing and turned it into a large art complex, with 750 square meters devoted to visual and plastic art exhibitions. The Atlas Chain's Tel Aviv boutique hotel Artplus also houses works of art, some of which have been created specifically for the hotel. The hotel has recently launched the Room Service project, which includes seven new guest rooms containing works by artists, in addition to those the hotel already had.
In the near future, the Atlas chain is also expected to open the Bezalel Hotel in Jerusalem, which will be devoted to promoting Israeli art, with a focus on unique furnishings and the design of the hotel itself.
This art trend encompasses many hotels overseas, for example New York's Gramercy Park Hotel and Budapest's Bohem Art Hotel, hotels whose walls and rooms are decorated by art pieces, which are usually put up for sale.
Promoting local art using hotels is a concept that could be rewarding for everyone, particularly young and starting artists: the artists, specifically those who sell less, gain exposure and the opportunity to sell their work, hotels gain the benefits of design with no financial investment, while also receiving a share of art sales, and we, the visitors, get to enjoy the pieces and possibly even return home with an original painting.