Stanislav Tratsevskiy’s venture into the hospitality industry could be seen as an extension of his already-impressive body of work as an artist and interior designer. With the StandArt Hotel Moscow, Tratsevskiy employs his erudition in art and cultural history to create a property that is as traditionally Russian as it is progressive. Here, the hotel’s futuristic interior appeals to science-fiction lovers (Tratsevskiy cites Tarkovsky’s 1972 movie Solaris, the 1982 movie Blade Runner, and the works of Isaac Asimov as inspiration), while the façade, he explains “is truly Old World Russia”.
With a degree from Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry, Tratsevskiy started his professional career as a painter at the turn of this century. His meticulously honed skillset and varied portfolio earned him a good deal of high-profile attention, including work on a number of private residences for members of the political and business elites throughout Russia and Europe. Combining his prolific creativity with a desire to offer internationals a slice of forward-thinking luxury in Moscow, Tratsevskiy settled on the hospitality industry as a conduit through which to carry out his artistic pursuits.
The result is a spectacle that prefers fluidity over fixity in terms of its visual identity, much like Tratsevskiy himself. With the StandArt, he explains, “I wanted to create universal spaces that appeal to everyone. Art is my way of communicating with people from all over the world.” Indeed, the hotel is a work of art as a whole, telling a story through its architecture and design. But in keeping with Tratsevskiy’s love of comic books—an art form composed of individual but inextricable components—each element of the hotel also tells a story.
For example, Tratsevskiy explains that he wanted to “invite people to think about the Soviet Union, through the use of Socialist-Realist art and ‘sgraffito’ [an ancient decorative technique popular in renaissance Italy and Soviet Russia involving multilayered and multicolored wall carvings]. These styles of art are a big part of our culture, and my own paintings throughout the hotel are references to them.” Tratsevskiy features works of retro-futurism that revolve around the idealized image of “the worker” that dominated Soviet propaganda. Guests of the StandArt are encouraged to retrospectively reflect on these ideals, blurring the line between art and propaganda.
Tratsevskiy loves the complexity and beauty of the world he’s created at StandArt, and he lets us in on a little secret: He plans to devote a space in the hotel to films that further support its retro-futuristic motif. If this sounds a bit like art showcasing art that celebrates art, then the more the better. Tratsevskiy would have it no other way. After all, he’s not afraid to be wowed—or to wow his guests. “I like the word ‘wow,’” he says. “It’s a good word.”