The Chelsea Hotel

By Antonin Kratochvil (Editor); Julia Calfee (Photographer)

powerHouse Books, Hardcover, 9781576874066, 1pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2008

In an intimate style, "Inside: The Chelsea Hotel" documents not only the archetypes and atmosphere in, but also echoes from the spirits and ghosts of, the inimitable Chelsea Hotel.
The Chelsea Hotel is a place where excess is welcome, where the psyche can be annihilated or resurrected. It has a magical potential for transformation, whether through rebirth or destruction. Artists such as Mark Twain, Edith Piaf, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jasper Johns, Jack Kerouac, Wilhelm de Kooning, Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Ethan Hawke have been drawn "inside" by a seemingly irresistible magnetic force. Julia Calfee has lived and photographed in the Chelsea Hotel for four years.
"When I photographed at the Chelsea Hotel, I would stay in a space or situation for hours. Time would pass and my presence would become less and less visible. Sometimes I would even disappear."
"People are always asking me what it's like to live in the Chelsea Hotel. Not always easy. There are times I felt like a fly caught in a spider's web, at risk of being eaten alive if I made the wrong move. This goes with living and working in the same place with a large extended, temperamental family full of artistic sensitivities and colossal egos, with long, exposed nerve ends--but there were also many moments of friendship, generosity, and complicity.

About the Author
Antonin Kratochvil is an internationally renowned photographer. During a thirty year career Kratochvil has been published world over in every major editorial publication bar none. He is the author of three acclaimed books. Broken Dream, Sopravvivere and Incognito. He is a founding member of the photo agency VII. Based out of Paris.

Julia Calfee studied journalism at NYU and art history at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. She has exhibited in Madrid and Barcelona, and at the Fondation Miro of Palma de Mallorca, which published PHOTOGENESE, a limited, large-format edition of her photographs in its permanent collection (1995). After going to Mongolia in 1997, she worked with an NGO to organize a horse-and-cart medical caravan covering over 2,000 miles in the Steppes, documenting human conditions in prisons and work camps. Calfee consequently became friends with a woman shaman and her family of reindeer herders. The exhibition of their winter migration, "Mountain Spirits of Mongolia" will travel to the United Nations in New York. Calfee lives in Brussels.