If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you likely know a thing or two about proper hotel door hanger usage. Hang your “Do Not Disturb” or “Please Enter” sign incorrectly and you may get caught with your pants down by hotel cleaning staff (or, maybe that’s what you’re going for… I’m not judging).
But the door hangers on display at The Cosmopolitan aren’t your ordinary “Do Not Disturb” and “Please Enter” signs. These six signs were created by six world-renowned artists for a collaboration between “Flaunt Magazine” and the Las Vegas hotel.
Large scale versions of the signs are now hanging in the P3 Studio at The Cosmopolitan and the artists — David LaChapelle, The Date Farmers, Theo-Mass Lexileictous, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Alan Aldridge and Bert Rodriguez — are taking turns in the studio with mini-residencies.
First up on the mini-residency list was multimedia artist and self-described comic book superhero Theo-Mass Lexileictous, who finishes his visit today. His name, which translates to “God of the Masses,” is the anagram of his real name, Alexis Themistocleous.
The simplest way to explain the art of Theo-Mass (and trust me when I say, there’s really nothing simple about it) is to say that he’s living in a reality-based comic book. It started with his first exhibition seven years ago, which revolved around his own genetic mutation — the creation of an alter ego — changing from Alexis into the fashionably anarchic Theo-Mass.
The masked superhero dresses in costumes and carries props created by leading fashion designers, blurring the line between art and reality. He has appeared in magazines around the world, and no one (including his collaborators) has ever seen his face.
Over the years, he has developed an entire story with exhibitions — or episodes — straight out of the pages of the comic book he escaped from.
“All my actions in reality are photographed and then they go back to the comic book pages I left blank, and the story continues like that,” he explained in a recent telephone interview.
Theo-Mass, who resides in London and Cypress, even created his own line of currency, Theo-Mass Dollars, a feat which was documented in one of his episodes.
It’s all highly symbolic, according to Theo-Mass. “Being in Cypress and having this dream of traveling the world and presenting my work … the goals I had set … only with superpowers I would manage to achieve them,” he explains. “I’d need super powers and money to do what I wanted to do.”
And so he gave himself both.
Theo-Mass kicked off his mini-residency at The Cosmopolitan with a live performance in which he stood like a statue for an hour in the center of his Theo-Mass Dollars before slowly presenting himself to the crowd.
He then spent the weekend in the P3 Studio creating architectural models or sculptures of what he calls “Planet Theo-Mass.” These creations, part of his current episode titled “#Postdigitalism,” will be on display at the gallery until early April.
Next up in the P3 Studio as part of “Do Not Disturb, Please Enter: An Artistic Interpretation of a Closed Door Policy” are:
- The Date Farmers: March 1 -3
- Bert Rodriguez: March 8 – 10
- Alan Aldridge: March 15 – 17
- David LaChapelle: March 22-24