Downtown’s new FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel houses about 300 pieces of art created by more than 25 Arizona artists. FOUND:RE’s cultural curator Michael Oleskow personally approved every piece, from interactive videos to sculpture.
As in a traditional gallery, the artwork is for sale. Oleskow says he filled the space with art that’s “fun and somewhat provocative.”
“Burtney,” a painting of a nude Burt Reynolds, hangs behind the front desk. Created by Phoenix artist Randy Slack, the painting is a salute to Reynolds’ iconic 1972 centerfold in Cosmopolitan, with an assist from Caitlyn Jenner. “Burtney” has Jenner’s hair, which Slack painted blond to resemble both Reynolds’ ex-wife Loni Anderson and Britney Spears.
“The timing was right for me to marry the two images and hopefully help the world along in accepting the alternative lifestyles people choose to live,” Slack says.
Linda Ingraham’s “Reveries” is a series of five panels made out of archival pigment prints, paint and resin featuring an image of a relaxed-looking face she photographed 15 years ago. Oleskow saw the original and asked Ingraham to make more.
“They have a contemplative, mysterious nature, which I feel adds atmosphere to the lounge,” Ingraham says. “I want people to ‘exhale’ when they look at them.”
“Phoenix is intense and harsh under the daylight sun, yet magical and beautiful at night when color is sultry and saturated,” photographer Catherine Slye says of “Night Water,” a series of six photos of the canals at dusk. The images are designed to evoke the contrasting sides of the city.
The hallway walls on the upper floors were left mostly barren – room numbers featuring different collages created by Cheryle Marine serve as the artwork there. Each of the hotel’s 105 rooms contain different art and giclées from eight artists, a feature Oleskow jokingly calls “Sleeping with the Artist.”
— Teresa K. Traverse
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