Commission Accomplished: The New York Palace Hotel

Palace Phantasm
Working with art consultants Helene Brown and Nancy Sweeney, artist Matt Gil created an edition of 65 aluminum sculptures (seen here far left) entitled Palace Phantasm for the New York Palace Hotel.

When Helene Brown of Fresh Paint Art Advisors was asked to suggest a sculptor for a challenging commission at the New York Palace Hotel, she knew right away that Matt Gil was the man for the job. The Palace, a luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan, was undergoing a substantial renovation and—in consultation with Nancy Sweeney of Art Advisory Service—greatly expanding its art collection. As part of this project, Sweeney approached Brown with the concept of an edition of 65 sculptures for the Palace’s suites.

“Helene was great to work with. She quickly found answers to my questions, filled me in on what was needed at every stage, and negotiated on my behalf regarding the tight deadlines for each batch. The project was complete and shipped within 9 months. But for me, working day and night for months on end and rushing right up to the deadline means I goofed up. Being very realistic and accurate when negotiating with the client or consultant can make a nice commission even better.”–Matt Gil, artist

Brown often collaborates with other consultants, who depend on Fresh Paint’s extensive artist contacts and experience with project management. “Nancy wanted to give the suites a more residential feeling and infuse the space with elegance and sophistication,” recalls Brown. “Another goal was to reinforce the hotel’s connection to the surrounding art community and the Museum of Modern Art. I presented Matt Gil’s work, which was perfect for the project for many reasons. He is a very savvy, experienced fabricator who is familiar with materials and how to work cost-effectively within budget and on time.”

Gil created a prototype and prepared a mold so that work could begin immediately if necessary. He got the go-ahead soon after the prototype passed its model room review, and then the whirlwind began. Working like a demon, Gil shipped “Palace Phantasm” in three batches, completing all 65 sculptures within nine months.

“Each piece was cast in aluminum, ground, sanded smooth, and meticulously painted to represent bronze, which would be cost prohibitive for a commission of this size,” Brown explains. “If you put a bronze next to the painted sculpture, they are identical.

“It was a pleasure working with Matt Gil. His enthusiasm and attention to every detail made this project a great success.”

Awaiting installation
Awaiting installation at the Palace Hotel, the sculptures were painted to mimic the appearance of bronze.
Palace Phantasm Casting
Each Palace Phantasm sculpture was cast in aluminum, ground, and sanded smooth.