Christoph Hodgson‘s larger-than-life works can hardly be overlooked, and are to be admired in numerous hotels and restaurants and on façades throughout Germany. The Motorworld Group has also been working closely with the artist for several years now. Among other things, Christoph Hodgson is responsible for the special look of the 26 themed rooms of the V8 Hotel at Motorworld Region Stuttgart. In an interview, he tells us which room he particularly likes to think back to, and talks about the project he is currently working on at Motorworld München.
Mr. Hodgson, you call your works „walk-in pictures“. What do you mean by that?
I don‘t just paint walls, ceilings and floors, I also work a lot with light, sound and furnishings in a room. So when I‘m going to design a room, I often decide what the furniture should look like, how the light needs to be, and ideally what music should be played in it. All this is part of my work. The beholder of my art, for instance a guest in a hotel room, walks into the picture, so to speak, and is integrated into the artwork. The „trappings“, that is the ambience and the atmosphere, play a major and important role in my work. Often it goes beyond the „simple“ picture on the wall.
We can currently run into you at Motorworld München. What project are you working on there?
I am currently working on several projects at Motorworld München. First of all, I designed the façade of the AMERON Hotel. I developed the idea for it together with Andreas Dünkel, CEO of the Motorworld Group. Since the location in Munich is a former railway repair shop, it was obvious to us that the theme had to be reflected on the hotel‘s façade.
That‘s why I painted full-sized running gears of historic trains on the outside wall. In total, between 60 and 70 train motifs now embellish the façade. It just needs to be lacquered, then it will be completely finished.
Next, I‘ll turn my attention to the conference rooms. Just like at other Motorworld locations, these all have a different theme or are dedicated to famous racing drivers. For example, we‘re currently developing a conference room for the rally driver Walter Röhrl. His long-standing co-driver Christian Geistörfer recently visited us at Motorworld München and helped us to develop ideas on how the room might look when it‘s finished. Racing drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck and Leopold, Prince of Bavaria, will also both have their own meeting rooms.
You‘ve also left your unmistakable fingerprint or brush marks in the V8 Hotel at Motorworld Region Stuttgart…
I designed the theme rooms for the V8 Hotel. I really enjoyed that job, especially because Motorworld gave me a free hand in the realisation. It took me about four to five days to complete each room. The ceiling and wall designs were very time-consuming, because the motifs partly extend over the entire surface. In the „Rennsport“ room, for instance, I painted a race track with various sports cars, while in the „Route 66“ room I created a panoramic wall depicting the famous American highway. I also painted some areas of the floors or created templates for 3D printing. On some floors you can now see tyre tracks or prayer books familiar from rally sport. Matching fittings, accessories and original parts, such as a real, old petrol pump or old oil barrels, perfectly round off each room‘s theme.
Be it „Werkstatt“ or „Route 66“ – you know every one of the 26 themed rooms right down to the smallest detail. Which is your personal favourite?
That‘s hard to say, because each room has its own individual charm. One of the things I remember is the „Jaguar“ room, which we decorated in distinctive British Racing Green. The „Pan Am“ room also has its own special appeal. Here we have brought the former American airline back to life. Above the bed, I put a larger-than-life Pan Am emblem, while a flight attendant smiles at the hotel guests from the wall.
But if I had to choose one particular room, „Flugfeld“ would be my personal number one. On one wall in this room, which depicts the history of Böblingen airfield, I painted a huge Junkers Ju-52, one of the most legendary planes ever, so the guests wake up right next to this „big bird“. The room is nicely compact and with all the furnishings simply has a great atmosphere.