In the first chapter of his book, The Life and Death of Picasso, John Berger tells the story of one magical facet of Picasso’s paintings:
Just after the Second World War Picasso bought a house in the South of France and paid for it with one still-life. Picasso has now in fact transcended the need for money. Whatever he wishes to own, he can acquire by drawing it. The truth has become a little like the fable of Midas. Whatever Midas touched, turned into gold. Whatever Picasso puts a line around, can become his. But the fable was a comic-tragic one; Midas nearly starved because he couldn’t eat gold.
Adopting a similar mode of exchange, one hotel in Stockholm is letting lodgers trade a work of art for one night’s stay. All you have to do is show up with your signed masterpiece in hand and fill out this form. The program, called “Room For Art,” is part of the Clarion Hotel’s ongoing arts initiative, which seems surprising given the no-frills profile of the international chain. The Clarion Stockholm, however, was built on the idea of defining itself with an art collection. It commissioned scads of Scandinavian artists to make work specifically for its walls, and even bought a few gems from local galleries. Exhibitions are regularly hosted, too—like Snabba Linjer, a showcase of graffiti artists Petter Odevall and Ossian Eckerman that opens today. Now, who wants to buy me a ticket to Sweden?