We are all about a good hotel lobby, and the amazing Illustrator Kirsten Ulve has just made the lobby at INNSIDE by Meliá New York Hotel in NoMad one of our favorites! Marking her first hotel partnership, Kirsten Ulve’s Lobby Art Installation at INNSIDE by Meliá New York features five of her original illustrations that are on permanent display for guests to enjoy, including NYC, Catwalker, Flatiron, Liberty, and Bad Larry. Each piece is crisp, graphic, and inspired by Kirsten’s love for New York City, which she made her home in 1996. The artwork compliments INNSIDE by Meliá New York’s stylish and contemporary interiors designed for the modern city visitor. Some of Kirsten’s previous work has been feature in The New Yorker, Vouge Japan, adidas and Target. Check out the art and what Kirsten has to say about it below, and be sure to stop by INNSIDE to get a peek for yourself!
This is a very condensed take on the heart of New York City: Times Square flanked by the iconic Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. These two always felt like brother and sister to me, being roughly the same vintage. There are more sets of opposites too: day and night skies, a peaceful protest with flashing police car, a limo and a hot dog cart, a gathering rainstorm, and a glowing New Year’s ball about to drop. And the teensy people are dwarfed by the towering height of the city. I wanted to show all of this contrasting energy with “at-a-glance” simplicity to reflect the City That Never Sleeps vibe.
I love bringing an element of fantasy into fashion illustration. And NYC is teeming with beautiful inspiring people everywhere! Everyone has a unique story. Once I saw a woman walking her cats in Madison Square park under cover of darkness, and the cats were so happy to walk in the evening grass with the smell of flowers and the sound of insects in the moonlight. Magic moments like that make me so happy to live here.
I see this beautiful building in my neighborhood every day, and I love when it’s dramatically lit by sun and shadow. If you’ve ever walked past it you also know how windy it can be there, where the breeze sweeping down Broadway and 5th avenues is suddenly cleaved by it’s skinny wedge. I also saw the total eclipse of the sun (while wearing “eclipse googles”) last summer standing in front of it, looking up. It’s like a vortex in the city, and it’s my favorite.
She represents the best sentiment of New York City and, once upon a time, of our country. Compassion. Love. I wanted to re-emphasize this message with a modern Liberty. The real Liberty may be holding a book of ancient wisdom, but the core of that message is love. We need it now more than ever.
I see street hustlers every day selling whatever they’ve got – old records, counterfeit designer purses, marijuana – to get by. I like to think Bad Larry has just rescued this kitten. He might be trying to make a sale, or just show you how cute it is.