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.”