Here’s a fascinating collection of pictures from Kurt Hollander, a photographer originally from New York City whose current base is Mexico City.
Recently Hollander visited Cali, Colombia, in particular a remarkable “sex hotel” called the Hotel Kiss Me, each of whose 180 rooms is painted and decorated according to its own different theme by local artists. Hollander was given the run of the place for two weeks, during which he invited some female friends of his—they’re not prostitutes—to pose in the rooms as if they were seducing a lover.
To be clear, while prostitution is legal in Colombia, the main purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is to serve as a venue for a sexual getaway for couples.
While the purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is certainly interesting, it’s the vibrantly decorated rooms that are the real star. “Kitsch” might be too bland a term for the hilarious and lovely rooms on display in Hollander’s pictures—many of the rooms are based on representations from a certain country, and the artists were just as likely to stick in an image of Adolf Hitler saluting a Volkswagen Beetle as they were to put Saddam in the Iraq room next to an image of burning oilfields. (One of the rooms has an image of 9/11, which you can see at Vice.)
He’s an interesting fellow. After a nasty case of salmonella, which led to severe chronic ulcerative colitis, Hollander wrote a memoir called Several Ways to Die in Mexico City. He’s also published a book of photographs documenting the rough-and-tumble streets (really, they once were that!) of downtown Manhattan called Low Rent: A Decade of Prose and Photographs from The Portable Lower East Side.
More from the Hotel Kiss Me after the jump…