Quin Arts by D'Angelico Guitars of America

Black guitar with blue embellishments

Quin Arts by D'Angelico Guitars of America

Winter 2017

Throughout its history, the Quin hotel has hosted world-renowned artists and musicians, due to its location at 57th Street and Sixth Avenue, diagonally across the street from Carnegie Hall. Now, Quin Arts curator DK Johnston has combined these two artistic forms with a spirited mash-up in a group show featuring 14 exquisitely crafted D'Angelico Guitars -- each reimagined by a different artist. Each of the artists has been an artist-in-residence at the Quin in the past, or is represented in the hotel's permanent collection—from acclaimed street-artists such as ABOVE, Mando Marie and Nick Walker to photo-realist painters such as Eric Zener, artists were challenged to use a D'Angelico guitar as their "canvas."

D'Angelico Guitars are works of art in their own right, historically having been individually handcrafted in a tradition that began in the early 1900's in New York City. John D'Angelico was born in Little Italy and became an apprentice at age 9 to an expert violin and Mandolin maker, learning the principles that would inform his later career. He went on to open his own shop on Kenmare Street in 1932, and D'Angelico Guitars would come to be known as the finest archtop guitars of the 20th century. D'Angelico's work was celebrated in a 2011 Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, titled "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York."

The Group Show at the Quin featured the work of 14 acclaimed artists, including: ABOVE (Tavar Zawacki); Alex Yanes; ASVP; Blek le Rat; Eric Zener; Joanne CORNO; Mando Marie; Mindy Linkous; Nick Walker; Pure Evil; Robert Malmberg; SP38; The London Police; and Wulf Treu. Brenden Cohen, CEO of D'Angelico Guitars, commented, "We're beyond excited to be working with DK Johnston and the Quin. We hugely value partnering with artists whose vision highlights the aesthetic of our guitars -- which are really art-pieces in and of themselves. We can't wait to see what they come up with."

Nick Walker, an acclaimed street artist from the UK who has twice served as artist-in-residence at the Quin, is among the artists participating in the group show. His reimagining of a D'Angelico Guitar blended the conception of musical notes as numbers. Walker commented, "The curves of the numbers really leant themselves to the shape of the guitar and almost resembled notes -- only in number form." After all, he added, "Everything is based on numbers."

Photo-realist painter Eric Zener, who also served as artist-in-residence at the Quin, is represented in the group show with a guitar drawing inspiration from his series of paintings illustrating people or objects submerged in water. Zener referred to the work in the D'Angelico group show as, "The 'sound' of art."

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