7 Artists Whose Airbnb Would Have Been Better Than Donald Judd’s


If you were enticed by the Airbnb ad for the late Donald Judd’s renovated former home and studio in Soho, prepare to be bummed. The ad was quickly taken down, and an artist in Detroit named Tyler Taylor has spoken with ARTINFO to announce that it had been a prankish work of institutional critique. In any case, given the city’s recent crackdown on shady short-term sublets, the Judd Foundation’s (ostensible) asking price of $2,000 a night would have probably been offset by a $1-5,000 fine.

None of this is a tragedy. While the room had its perks (it featured a permanent florescent installation by Dan Flavin, and according to the ad, smoking was permitted), the idea of using Judd’s work for commercial decorative purposes is only vaguely fun, and not particularly novel; in the mid-1990s, architect John Pawson sought out Judd furniture and Judd-esque design for the Calvin Klein shop on Madison Avenue, which he said complemented the clothing on display.

Here are seven artists whose temporary lodgings would be way better.

[Image via Indiewire]

Hotel Marina Abramovic

Physically, this doesn’t have to be far from Chez Judd; exterior shots of the cast iron building in the HBO documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present suggest that she lives nearby in Soho. What’s more, Abramovic already has ample practice in the extreme hospitality industry: during the Sundance Film Festival, she held a “silent party” in which guests walked around in white lab coats and ear muffs. The event was white bread compared to the fundraising gala she planned for LA MoCA, where everyone was served a slice of two red velvet cakes fashioned to resemble Abramovic and fellow performer Debbie Harry. Rumors of artist assistants being mistreated elicited a widely-publicized letter from choreographer Yvonne Rainer to the museum’s directors. Within earshot of an LA Times blogger, a guest repeatedly told one participant, “This isn’t art, this is stupid.”

Andrew Wyeth’s Farmhouse

Cushing House, the 18th-century farmhouse captured in the 1948 painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth, is a real place that you can still visit.

While this alone would make an overnight stay uniquely surreal, so would the house’s unending references in fantasy and science fiction. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the character David Bowman encounters the painting after travelling through Stargate, as do a pair of drone technicians in Oblivion, and a gunslinger in Wizard and Glass, the fourth novel in Stephen King’s series The Dark Tower. The painting has special meaning for a character in Garth Ennis’s fantasy graphic novel Preacher, and was said to have inspired the landscapes seen in Terry Gilliam’s fantasy thriller film Tideland. It’s hard to say how an erstwhile icon of bucolic calm and emptiness became such a gold mine for lovers of haunted fiction. Bring a flashlight.

[Image via realestate.aol.com]

Annie Leibovitz’s Greenwich Village Townhouse

The art world enjoyed a moment of celebrity schadenfreude when the photographer who asked the Queen of England to be “less dressy” sold her $33 million home — better described as a compound — in the West Village. Like many high-register expenditures in Leibovitz’s life, including travel, a live-in nanny, and personal yoga instructor, the spot seemed hard to justify, and almost obscene, given her reputed treatment of talented studio assistants, some of whom were said to be on the receiving end of flying lenses and verbal abuse when she was in the wrong mood.

[Image via Telegraph ]

Castillo Picasso

Château de Vauvenargues, a castle near the Provençal town of Aix-en-Provence, was the dwelling place of Pablo Picasso from 1958 until his death in 1973. It was closed to the public until 2009, when a director of a local museum convinced the Picasso family to let visitors inside to admire the mind-blowing collection of paintings by Modigliani and Matisse, in addition to the furniture that can be seen in Picasso’s paintings. In an ideal world, deserving patrons could admire Mont Sainte-Victoire from their bedroom windows. The landscape was a favorite subject of Paul Cézanne, and one of the main reasons Picasso chose the spot.

[Image via Flickr]

Auberge James Turrell

James Turrell’s “skyspaces” — whose ceilings are designed to allow a meticulously composed section of the sky — are typically meant for star-gazing and almost universally amenable to a nighttime visit. The ultimate Turrell B&B would involve the artist handing you a sleeping bag and driving you out to “Roden Crater,” his in-progress naked-eye observatory situated in an extinct volcano outside of Flagstaff, on a clear night after the winter solstice.

[Image via meisterhaeuser.de]

Paul Klee’s Digs at the Bauhaus

Nowhere is High Modernist abstraction more a part of how people eat, sleep, and live than in the Dessau homestead of the Bauhaus, where the school operated from 1925 to 1932. While they lived there, the Masters Houses became feasts of experimentation for artists like Gropius, Moholy-Nagy, Feninger, Muche, Schlemmer, Kandinsky, and Klee, as walls, ceilings, rugs, and banners continue to testify. Anyone granted an overnight stay could say they slept in the same bed as composers like Bela Bartok, painters like Kasimir Malewitsch, George Grosz, and Marcel Duchamp; the philosopher Otto Neurath or the film maker Dsiga Werthoff.

[Image via Elle Decor]

The Twombly Family Estate in Italy

The site of this 14-acre hazelnut plantation north of Rome overlooks hills originally settled by the Etruscans in the fourth century BCE. Almost everything here is old and charmingly weathered, including the rugs, armchairs, benches, and upholstered sofas, as well as collected fossils and samples of volcanic rock.

Given his pronounced Virginia accent and the New York School cachet of his work, it’s sometimes hard to accept that Cy Twombly spent much of his life in Italy, and died in Rome. One explanation might be that Twombly was just really, really chill, and liked to live where a two-hour lunch and afternoon siestas are a common thing. Curators like MoMA’s Ann Temkin have also suggested that the dimension of older, vanquished civilizations reminded him of home.