A ROOM WITH A VIEW
By Catherine Vanesse
15 January, 2017
From San Francisco to Paris passing through Tokyo, Jeannine Platz has painted some of the most beautiful panoramic landscapes in the world from hotel suites. Her artistic journey lasting several months led her to the So Sofitel in Bangkok in August 2016.
A An internationally renowned painter and calligrapher, Jeannine Platz, born in Hanover in 1973, works using her fingers and a scraper as her only tools. For her “Suite View Project”, she has traveled throughout the world with a list of 50 exceptional hotels, from which she is painting frescoes that highlight the most beautiful skylines.
When passing through Bangkok in August 2016, Jeannine realized two paintings: one from her room and the second from the balcony on the 29th floor of the So Sofitel during a public performance. Before arriving in Bangkok, Jeannine Platz had already stopped at 30 hotels all over the world. At this stage of her journey, she admitted that “if one day I had to leave Germany and settle in another city, I could easily imagine myself coming to live in Bangkok”. Since then, she has continued her wanderings before returning to Hamburg, her starting point, where she will present the final result in May 2017 in an exhibition that will bring together the 50 paintings of her “Suite View” project
How did this idea of painting skylines from hotel rooms come about?
I live in Hamburg, a port city where I see boats setting out to sea every day. It was a dream for me to embark on a trip around the world. One day, I asked a ship captain if I could board his ship. On board, I painted the endless landscapes offered by the sea and the horizon; that was a special experience.
When I left the ship, I wondered where I could find these sorts of views again, where your gaze finds no limits, this sense of space, even in cities. The idea of painting from hotel suites arose from this desire. A year and a half ago, I contacted one establishment in order to paint the skyline from one of its rooms. Since then, I have traveled quite a lot! Thailand is the 31st country where I have laid out my paints and in the end I’ll have visited 50 by the month of January. Afterwards, I’m going to exhibit all these works in Hamburg in May 2017. I might continue later; I don’t know yet. I love to travel and discover new places.
How do you choose the hotels?
It’s not the room that’s important, but the view. In Tokyo, I had a magnificent large room, but it didn’t provide me with the best view, so I asked to change it. All of a sudden, I found myself in a much smaller room, which required me to adjust the size of my paintings. Otherwise, I do a lot of research on the Internet. I really love the site www.themostperfectview.com. Sometimes, it’s the hotels themselves who contact me, and I’ve had to turn some down, mainly due to a lack of time.
What do you think of the view from the So Sofitel in Bangkok?
I think it’s the best view of Bangkok! I love the contrast between Lumphini Park and the buildings in the background. Contemplating buildings at a certain distance constantly allows new things to appear.
Today, I think that Bangkok offers me the most beautiful skyline that I’ve ever seen! But when I was in New York, I told myself the same exact thing. I think that when I’m there, each city represents the best that there is for me. Besides, I could easily imagine myself living in Bangkok, a feeling that I’ve only felt in New York and Hong Kong.
I was born in a small village with 600 inhabitants, which I left at age 17; I feel better in big cities.
Why do you paint with your hands?
I started painting around age ten. At that time, I angered my teachers because I never followed their instructions. When I’m painting, I just experience my emotions, without thinking about what I’m doing: that’s why I paint with my hands and not with a brush. I’m a very tactile person; I feel the need to touch the canvas, the paint. Sometimes I use a spatula to make outlines or a toothbrush for the last touches of a color. Sometimes I also add calligraphy to my work; that’s my other passion together with acting, a profession that I’ve left because the days are just too short!