Villa Royale is home to an original, commissioned collection of more than 50 large format oil paintings, which were painted on site in the year prior to the hotel’s opening by Juan Casas, Lou Kregal and Sara Radovanovich. These artists lived and painted at the property for weeks at a time, separately and together, channeling the history and vibe of Palm Springs in their eclectic body of works featuring desert landscapes, classic cars and icons of popular culture, film and music.
Spanish artist and poet Juan Casas, primarily based in Portland, Ore., created works that include a portrait of Dennis Hopper from “Apocalypse Now,” one of Debbie Harry from Blondie and a portrait of Charles Bronson from “How the West Was Won.” Lou Kregal, an Athens, GA based artist, created geometric surfboard and diamond patterned works for Villa Royale’s guestrooms. Los Angeles based Sara Radovanovitch created a portrait of Lana Turner from a 1944 publicity photo of the actress, and another of Clark Gable, also from the 1940s, smoking a pipe.
Along many lush pathways, guests will also find vibrant murals adorning the walls of the grounds at Villa Royale. Sagent Staygold, a Los Angeles-based tattoo artist and muralist, created “Welcome to Your Paradise,” a graphic, bold work in spray paint that greets visitors as they enter Villa Royale. Throughout the grounds, Radovanovich painted a series of colorful geometric murals throughout the property inspired by razzle dazzle, the complex patterns of geometric shapes interrupting and intersecting each other, which were used by the Navy during World War I as camouflage to make it difficult to estimate a battleship’s range, speed, and heading. In addition to inspiring Radovanovich, razzle dazzle attracted the notice of artists such as Pablo Picasso, who claimed that Cubists like himself had invented it. At Villa Royale, Radovanovich also created “El Viaje” – Spanish for the journey – a work inspired by the sirens call of jet age travel that adorns the sitting area of the poolside lanai.