Ace Hotel mural

Ace Hotel mural

Timothy Goodman, San Francisco, New York, New York, 2010


Project brief: I was asked to contribute a wall mural in room 910 at the Ace Hotel. Opening in New York City last year, with locations in Seattle, Portland and Palm Springs, Ace is known for its hipster and motorcycle-chic aesthetic. The lobby buzzes with lots of people, furniture, music, laptops and espressos. Their café, Stumptown, has gained lots of praise, along with their British gastropub, The Breslin, which is run by the owners of the Spotted Pig in the West Village. Famous rap star Q-Tip DJs every Friday night in the basement.

Approach: I hand-drew 99 picture frames to create a dense wall of “discovery” about New York that could be passed to the common tourist staying in the room. Each frame contains a different fact/love/tidbit/thing of interest/shout-out to a place I dig in the city. At roughly 120 square feet, the art was drawn imprecisely to capture the spontaneity and grit of the city. I used paint markers and opaque black paint to help this technique excel. Consequently, it became a labor of love, an act of obsession that was pleasantly grueling.

While brainstorming in the weeks before, it was important to ask some larger questions before I started my sketch: What is its relevancy? What is its importance? Can it become engaging or participatory? Having an idea for a mural that’s both relative to the space it exists in and reflective of the culture around it is not an easy task to accomplish. However, I felt it was something I had to account for. The Ace Hotel is known for its shabby-chic environment, a place where Mickey Rourke hangs out.


Collections: AIGA 365: Design Effectiveness (2011)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Environmental graphic design
Format: Exhibit, Illustration


Design firm
Timothy Goodman, San Francisco
Art director
Timothy Goodman
Timothy Goodman
Mark Dye
Ace Hotel