By Mike Espindle
Luxury hotelier Steve Wynn is well-known as one of the world’s preeminent art collectors and aficionados. What may not be so well-know is his low-key sharing of select pieces from his holdings throughout the public spaces of the elegant Wynn and Encore Hotels. I recently enjoyed a private tour of several important pieces with Wynn’s Roger Thomas, Executive Vice President of Wynn Design & Development. Amid the gorgeous splashes of color, texture, form and design that define the fun, luxury vibe of the resorts, significant pieces, many unlabeled and unhyped, from artists that fall along a spectrum from Jeff Koons to Gustav Eiffel, are carefully placed, displayed and shared with the public.
The dramatic Koons’ work “Tulips” greets show attendees as they enter the Wynn theater for the nightly performance of the signature show, Le Reve. The cooly chromatic sculpture sets a sleek and elegant mood for an unforgettable evening. At the other end of the artistic spectrum, an original wooden chandelier by architect/designer Gustav Eiffel from a Parisian apartment building stands unannounced at the entrance to the Terrace Pointe Cafe. Works by sculptor Timothy Horn, experimental painter Nellie King Solomon, South American artist Fernando Botero and many other innovators can be found throughout the public areas of the properties.
When I asked Thomas why the fine art was so underplayed, he said, “I am more interested in creating a sense of being surrounded by art everywhere in the hotels than creating a museum environment. I believe good art does its job regardless of the level of knowledge of the viewer. If you are familiar with these works, terrific, but even the casual viewer will experience a sense of wonder these pieces create.”