Talking with Beau Stanton, Contributor to the Wythe Hotel’s Permanent Collection

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You might have seen Beau Stanton’s large scale murals on Troutman Street in Bushwick or on the Bowery. Originally from Southern California, Stanton moved to Brooklyn in 2008 in order to pursue a career in the arts. He has quickly become known for his mesmerizing paintings and murals, which draw inspiration from classical painting, historic ornamentation, and religious iconography. He created a stop motion animated installation for room 503 in the Wythe Hotel.
Which neighborhood do you live and work in?
I’ve been based in Red Hook for the past eight years but now I’m transitioning to split up my time between LA and Brooklyn for 2016.
How did the opportunity arise to have your work become part of the Wythe Hotel’s permanent collection?
The opportunity came about after I showed a video installation at SCOPE Art Fair Miami with curator Lori Zimmer and Hamptons based Quattlebaum Foretich Gallery in 2013. After the show, QF Gallery connected the dots between the Wythe’s curator Kimia and me.

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What was it like working with Kimia? She bought, rather than commissioned the piece, right?
This was sort of a combination between a straight acquisition and commission since the video work was already created, however the hardware and installation strategy were unique to this project.
Kimia and her team were great to work with. If I have to choose one word to describe my experience with Kimia it would be patient. Since the piece was going to be permanently installed into a hotel room, the hardware and user experience needed to be as simple and streamlined as possible as opposed to displaying the work in a gallery where the piece can be initiated by me or an experienced gallerist. This created some challenges to say the least. We had to try out four different hardware options as well as a few different rooms before we found a solution that resulted in the desired outcome. In the end, the piece turned out beautifully with some great details added by Kimia including a brass toggle switch that powers up the piece.
How did you feel about putting your work in a hotel as opposed to a gallery or cultural center?
I always enjoy getting my work outside of the traditional spaces for showing art. In this case, the hotel room provides a really intimate way to experience the work, which I like. Also, the logistical user interface challenges (as much of a pain as they were) pushed me to be more flexible for exhibition options in the future.

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Did you attend the opening for your show? What were your impressions?
I did. I enjoyed casually standing near the work to listen to what people say when they first see it. It can be really entertaining to see how they react to different events throughout the piece—it’s sort of like testing a control group for creating future work.
How do you feel you fit in with Brooklyn’s creative community in the broadest sense?
I know a lot of people who are working artists in Brooklyn so I’d say I’m just another one questing to make a living from creative means.
How long have you lived here and what drew you to Brooklyn in the first place?
I moved to Brooklyn in 2008 after I graduated from college.  The move to NYC was an inevitable choice in order to completely dedicate myself to pursuing a career in art.
How does the reality of living here—and being an artist here—stack up against what you imagined it would be like?
It’s pretty close to what I imaged, however I didn’t realize how much living in Brooklyn (particularly Red Hook) would inform my aesthetic and subject matter.

Check out Beau’s website and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos by Ian Maddox.

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