Check into the Hotel Chelsea for Patti Smith and Sam Shepard’s “Cowboy Mouth”
The legendary establishment is taking part in a ten-day cultural exhibition series right now.
Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road there. Stanley Kubrick was known to frequent its halls. Nico and Edie Sedgwick lived there during Andy Warhol‘s Factory days. Countless legendary musicians—including Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Édith Piaf, Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell, just to name a handful—were at their creative peaks there. There is no building more celebrated and mythologized than New York City’s Hotel Chelsea.
Even within the landmark building’s lengthy list of cultural icon inhabitants, no artist is more iconically connected with the hotel than Patti Smith. Smith’s experience at the Manhattan hotel touched upon all aspects of her art including her National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids, which chronicled her life in the 1970s with Robert Mapplethorpe. While staying at the infamous hotel, Smith connected with actor-playwright Sam Shepard and in 1971 the pair penned Cowboy Mouth—a short, semi-autobiographical play about two artists living together and their need to create.
This week, in order to inspire and jumpstart the creative juices of a new generation of cultural icons, the Hotel Chelsea is debuting a brand-new artistic series around the power and iconic status of the building entitled Cowboy Mouth: Young Artists at The Chelsea. Beyond being able to see photographs of the hotel’s past inhabitants by Norman Seeff, Smith and Shepard’s play will be performed by up-and-coming artists. About the exhibition, Hotel Chelsea has expressed its excitement:
A groundbreaking union of the visual and performed arts positioned in a pivotal moment in Hotel Chelsea’s own history, Cowboy Mouth: Young Artists at The Chelsea is built around Shepard and Smith’s dark yet triumphantly quirky short play. At once paying homage to the work of Smith, Shepard and their peers while decisively looking to the future, Cowboy Mouth is slated to be the first in a recurring festival of new artistic explorations both presented at and inspired by the iconic Hotel Chelsea.
Cowboy Mouth: Young Artists at The Chelsea runs at the Hotel Chelsea until June 20.