Hotel Kyjev is one of the last reminders from the Soviet times in Bratislava. Now that the ghost of former imperialist Russia woke up again in neighbouring Ukraine, I remembered this photo report I did during a visit in 2019.
The (still today) abandoned building became one of the true masterpieces of Slovakia's street art culture thanks to the mind-bending optical illusion sprayed on it.
This giant piece of concrete and steel architecture from another era served as a KGB rally point in the heart of Bratislava. In 2018, it was turned into one of the most relevant pieces of street art of Slovakia when photographer, Lousy Auber, worked on it as part of a street art festival that culminated on Kamenné Square on June 30th and will probably stay there until the planned reconstruction of the building.
17 mountain climbers were necessary to create the optical illusion that was created in only a few hours using colour sprays.
The new facade triggered numerous responses, both positive and negative. The question arose whether it was too radical of an intervention with the design of the building due to the fact that it's located in the touristic monument zone of the city.
Some lament about the fact that it is destroying the modernist architectural design but unanimity rarely is a sign of awesome artistic practice. What good art probably does, is provoking polarised reactions and debate.
Go check it out yourself next time you're in Bratislava.