purple DOCUMENT purple FASHION Magazine : S/S 2013 issue 19

The Chateau Marmont is without a doubt the most glamorous hotel in Los Angeles. It is also a legendary place for photography, ever since Helmut Newton began to spend his summers there.

 

For his latest book, Asleep at the Chateau, Austrian photographer and Purple contributor Jork Weismann shot portraits of this elite clientele while they slept. Naturally, none of these celebrities actually let him sneak into their rooms at night — they all faked slumber for the sake of the artist’s concept.

 

The result is a series of paradoxical portraits in which the subjects retain control of their image at the very moment when narcissism normally dissolves in sleep.

 

photography by JORK WEISMANN

text by JEFF RIAN

 

 

Located at the intersection of Marmont Lane and Sunset Boulevard, the building of the fabled Los Angeles hotel was originally designed to be an earthquake-proof luxury apartment house. But when the stock market crashed one year after its opening, the Chateau was quickly transformed into a hotel with 63 rooms and a number of fully equipped suites (in fact, many of the hotel’s furnishings were bought from estates left broken in the Great Depression’s wake). The hotel, to which nine bungalows were added, soon became a hangout and place of retreat — one often preferable to home — for people like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Hunter H. Thompson, Tim Burton, Annie Leibovitz, Jay McInerney, and countless others throughout the years. It was an environment in which famous people could sleep, work, feel comfortable and even die: John Belushi’s body was found in Bungalow Three on March 5, 1982, and Helmut Newton crashed his Cadillac into the wall when leaving the driveway on January 23, 2004.