Dexter Dalwood

Room 100, Chelsea Hotel

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Room 100, Chelsea Hotel
Dexter Dalwood
Room 100, Chelsea Hotel
1999
Oil on canvas
183 x 213 cm

Room 100 at New York’s Chelsea Hotel is the infamous site of the violent death of Nancy Spungen, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend Sid Vicious. Dexter Dalwood paints this scene with clinical detachment: the chaotic room is devoid of salacious detail, dehumanised in its simplicity. Dexter Dalwood portrays an unglamorous fantasy of seedy realism as sanitised through media. The composition is riddled with pairs: lamps, cupboard doors and bed frames act as coupled shapes, insinuating an eternal togetherness. The broken bed is symbolic of tragic breakdown. At the foot of the bed is an upturned TV, its image frozen on two black-clad figures: one large and one small, reflective of fragility and ego. On the floor, Dexter Dalwood paints a pool of melting candles, suggestive of drug culture but also the adage that those who shine brightest burn quickest.


     
 


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