I love the retro air of these small oils on canvas by Dutch artist Airco Caravan. Little did I realize there are sinister stories behind these motel room paintings, which are part of her “Crime Scene” series.
Airco Caravan told Yen Magazine that the motel room paintings series began when she noticed how casually murder is reported on the news. “Horrible things like this are in my head all the time. . .,” she says. “It freaks me out that people are so happy to kill each other. I don’t understand it.”
Caravan, who is based in Amsterdam, extensively researches the back stories using online newspaper archives. She usually worked from photographs, devising her own colour palette for her paintings of the motel rooms. As a child growing up in Europe she was fascinated by this type of comfortable room that symbolized the American dream.
She says, “After a crime has been committed the room is still there. It just looks like an ordinary motel room. But what does it do to your view when you know what happened there?”
In another of Airco Caravan’s series, “100 Murders,” she photographs footpaths in New York where people have been murdered. “Other people just walk all over it, having fun, being a tourist, whatever,” she says. “But somebody actually died there.”
I think I’ll stick to the Ritz.
Possession of a Deadly Weapon, 2012
Authorities were called to the Delaware Riverview Motel, after an employee discovered the victim. Homicide detectives arrested a woman after finding some of her personal items in the motel room where the victim was found. She has been charged with 1st degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and possession of
a deadly weapon by a person prohibited.
Motel Slaying, 2012
King County prosecutors have filed murder charges against three 19-year-old men and a 16-year-old girl in connection in the slaying of a 47-year-old man. The sheriff’s office says witnesses saw the victim drive up and enter a room of SeaTac Motel. Within a few minutes they heard an argument and then a gun shot. The victim stumbled out of the room and collapsed. He died at the scene.
Lifeless Bodies of Two Children, 2012
Broke and jobless a woman killed her young sons in an Orangeburg motel, then strapped their lifeless bodies into their car seats before rolling the vehicle into a South Carolina river, authorities said. She drove to a motel with the 2-year-old and 18-month-old boys. Late that night, in a corner room tucked at the back of the rundown, one-story motel
complex, she suffocated the boys with her hands.
Suicide By Gun, 2012
Wichita Police now say the shooting at the Stratford House Motel was a suicide. Police were called to the motel Friday night and found a 23-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to her head. According to Sedgwick County 911 dispatchers, the young woman was found dead at the Stratford House Motel in the 5500 block of West Kellogg, near I-235 and Kellogg.
Police are interviewing witnesses and continuing to investigate.
Hotel Homicide, 2011
A man will face a second-degree murder charge after a stabbing at the Motel 6 in Brandon. Police were called to the Trans-Canada Highway hotel around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, where they found the body of a 63-year-old man in one of the third-floor rooms, with injuries to his upper body. There is speculation from hotel staff and patrons that the
victim was killed by his own 26-year-old son.
Fractured Skull, 2013
A man beat a handcuffed guest to death inside an Elkton motel, Room 418. Court records list a fractured skull as one of the many injuries that he suffered during a “mutual combat fight” that, at some point, turned into an alleged deadly assault. According to court records, the man continuously beat the victim in the head with the leg of a chair that had been broken during their fight.
Two people were found dead in an Athens motel after what a sheriff’s investigator suspects was a ‘pill party’. A man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s were found dead at the Starlight Motel after investigators responded to a call from another hotel guest. A ‘pill party’ involves mixed prescription medications passed around in a bowl. Investigators are waiting for lab results to determine the contents of the pills.
14 Stab Wounds, 2013
The prime suspect in the brutal slaying murder of a 38-old municipal employee was arrested on Saturday. The victim, who succumbed to 14 stab wounds in different parts of the body, was a former live-in partner of the suspect. She checked-in alone at Room 45 of the Mariposa Lodge III motel. 30 minutes later, a man also checked-in. As he left, the employees
found the woman dead, lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds.
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