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Mr. Cartoon was recently featured in The New York Times as part of a piece documenting his recent residency at the upscale Marcel at Gramercy. Bringing his talents to the East Coast, Cartoon will be offering his highly coveted tattoo services through tomorrow, albeit as a hefty cost. Below is an excerpt from the article with some insight into Mr. Cartoon’s role within the Marcel at Gramercy’s artist-in-residence series.
Photo: Richard Perry
It was a scene that unfolds along low-rent commercial strips in towns big and small, but this was no storefront tattoo parlor, with neon signs in the windows and folding chairs in cramped quarters. Instead, it was the pop-up studio of Mister Cartoon — a tattooist who counts Eminem, Beyoncé and Mena Suvari as clients — at the Marcel at Gramercy, an upscale boutique hotel looking to distinguish itself from the pack.
As part of the hotel’s artist-in-residence series, Mister Cartoon, who is based in Los Angeles and usually has a three-to-six-month waiting list for appointments, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, has created original artwork that hangs in the lobby. And from Nov. 14 through Wednesday, he is offering his services out of a two-bedroom suite.
In a city with stiff competition for travel dollars and new rooms constantly under construction, hotels are scrambling to create promotions that give their properties a little personality, positioning themselves as go-to places for their desired customers.
“Hotels do these promotions, like offering a $10,000 cocktail complete with engagement ring, not so much because guests order them but because it creates an image of the hotel in patrons’ minds,” Sean Hennessey, the chief executive at Lodging Investment Advisors, a consulting firm, said in an e-mail.
At the Marcel, part of Amsterdam Hospitality, which also operates the Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center, that has meant an emphasis on the arts, intended to appeal to its guests from the fashion, entertainment and retail industries. “We were introduced to Cartoon, and once we saw his artwork, we said, ‘O.K., we’ve never thought about tattoos before, but this is kind of cool,’ ” said Blake Danner, the executive vice president of Amsterdam Hospitality.
The story in its entirety can be read here.