LOOK: This Denver photographer has created tiny universes inside the Curtis Hotel’s elevators

Even non-guests can step inside Brokering’s oddly-shaped galleries, though you’ll need a key to rise above the third floor.

Denver artist Paul Brokering  inside an elevator he wrapped with his photography inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

curtis hotel; downtown; installation art; elevators; nine dot arts; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Denver artist Paul Brokering inside an elevator he wrapped with his photography inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) curtis hotel; downtown; installation art; elevators; nine dot arts; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Denver artist Paul Brokering inside an elevator he wrapped with his photography inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There are few places one can experience art and G force at the same time. Denver is home to four of those venues: the elevators inside the Curtis Hotel downtown.

This week we rode up and down the with Denver photographer and self-described “magician” Paul Brokering to learn about his massive, nearly 360-degree images recently installed there.

Inside an elevator inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) curtis hotel; downtown; installation art; elevators; nine dot arts; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Inside an elevator inside the Curtis Hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Riding in a public elevator can be an awkward experience. “You don’t know where to look,” Brokering said. “It’s uncomfortable.”

But that problem can be solved, said the artist, by improving the view. Inside these elevators, he said, “You’ve got something to talk to strangers about. Something to talk to yourself about.”

The installations are a collaboration between Brokering, the Curtis Hotel and NINE dot ARTS, the corporate art brokers who brought you such downtown works as the giant, suspended wooden hand inside the Dairy Block.

Inside an elevator inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) curtis hotel; downtown; installation art; elevators; nine dot arts; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Denver seen from inside a plane cockpit inside elevator inside the Curtis Hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

This series of unique installations is one way the team is trying to change how people take in public areas, “to make you more aware and present in the spaces that you’re in,” said NINE dot ARTS consultant Katherine Sharp.

When you step into one of these tiny universes it’s more than the upward motion that makes you feel something. Spend a moment inside the ski lift-wrapped car and you might feel a bit of a chill.

Also keep your eyes peeled for a version of the Enterprise crew from “Star Trek” inside one elevator that’s been turned into an interstellar cockpit.

Inside an elevator inside the Curtis Hotel, May 30, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) curtis hotel; downtown; installation art; elevators; nine dot arts; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Inside an elevator inside the Curtis Hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Even non-guests can step inside Brokering’s oddly-shaped galleries, though you’ll need a key to rise above the third floor.

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.