Access and context are two of the most important questions to consider right now because the art world is experiencing unprecedented rapid change in the last few generations. Who should be allowed to see the works of the world’s greatest artists and where should they be displayed?
Those with even a passing interest in art are well aware that official galleries and museums are no longer the primary or most prestigious magnets for high-quality art. At one end of the spectrum, many artists are flocking to exhibit their works in the private island “art resorts” marketed to billionaires, such as the new Hauser & Wirth enclave off Menorca’s coast. On the other end of the spectrum, many artists are flocking to exhibit their work in public galleries.
On the other hand, we have an increased push by established artists to improve accessibility to their works, with anti-establishment artists doing more in recent years to create publicly available works of art. Banksy, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst are among these artists.
As this significant question concerning the trajectory of the art world continues to develop, industry opinion leaders and tastemakers will undoubtedly be taking a closer look at the various types of venues capable of hosting art. The Casino is an enthralling case study that perfectly depicts the tensions that exist between art and capitalism. It is also one of the most common types of exhibition spaces for valuable works of art.
Casinos have every reason to believe that they will continue to play an increasingly important role as custodians in the coming years. For decades, if not centuries, casinos have housed some of the world’s most beautiful art treasures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most prestigious casinos that also house works of art to better illustrate this point.
The Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada
The illustrious Bellagio Hotel, located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and home to several of the city’s most recognizable fountains, has always sought to distinguish itself from its rivals. As a result, in the late 1990s, the resort began collecting artworks as part of an effort to establish itself as a global arts destination, an effort that is still ongoing today.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, which features a breathtakingly curated collection of fine art, houses works by artists such as Warhol, Picasso, Lichtenstein, Monet, Van Gogh, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. Anyone interested in making their fortune and drawn to the opportunities for wealth that Las Vegas offers should not miss Bellagio’s collection of authentic Faberge eggs.
Monaco’s Casino de Monte Carlo
It should come as no surprise that Monaco’s ultra-exclusive Casino de Monte Carlo is home to priceless artistic treasures because it was founded at the height of the decadent Second Empire by the crème de la crème of French nobility. This casino is a must-see for anyone interested in art history, with jaw-dropping sculptures by Edouard André and bewitching geometric shapes by Victor Vasarely.
Because of the priceless art and opulent glamour found there, the Monte Carlo experience has become an influential and sought-after aesthetic. This is demonstrated by the fact that thanks to live-stream roulette, casino enthusiasts can now access these types of aesthetics from the comfort of their own homes.
Through a live-stream video link to a sumptuous roulette lounge designed to evoke the aesthetic of casinos such as the Casino de Monte Carlo, players at immersive digital casino platforms can enjoy French roulette in the style of the Casino de Monte Carlo with a real croupier.
The Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Palms may not be the most opulent casino resort in Sin City, but it certainly has the most impressive art collection. It has amassed an art collection that is the envy of some of the world’s best gallerists and curators. This is largely because, in its early days, it served as a hangout for the local community’s elite. Guests can enjoy a collection of four paintings and drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the hotel’s steakhouse restaurant. When you enter the ladies’ room, you will notice that Scott Hove has created a toilet stall that is decorated to look like a birthday cake.
As you approach the front desk, you will notice a mural by Olivia Steele that reads, “Wish You Were Here!” According to Business Insider, the penthouse suite, which can be rented for $100,000 per night, is the most interesting case study at this intersection of capitalism’s excesses and the artistic world. Damien Hirst, the artist, was responsible for designing this space, and an extensive collection of his works can be found here. If you have six figures lying around, you can have his work all to yourself for the weekend.
The casino industry is becoming increasingly entwined with the world of art in a variety of ways, some of which are listed below. We can expect a significant increase in the number of entries on this list in the coming years.