Artistic Spaces

“It’s not a hotel which happens to have art, but an art institution that happens to have hotel rooms,” said Alberto Di Stefano owner of Chateau Třebešice, a Renaissance estate near Kutná Hora. Mr Di Stefano renovated the ruin with fellow Italian Eugenio Percossi. Since 2003 they have been inviting artists in, individually and in groups, to stay at the chateau.

Idiom: Bring back to life: In this context, ‘bring back to life’ means to restore to a workable quality.

“From the beginning art has been considered part of bringing the chateau back to life,” Mr Di Stefano told The Word. Today the building contains 80 pieces of work with plans to expand.

Other hotels around the world are hosting artists. The idea has quite a long history. In London, The Savoy had Claude Monet as an artist in residence. It is continuing the tradition with British artists who produce artwork for their halls. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai invites up to 18 artists to stay from three to six months, asking in return a piece of art from each. In this way, Chateau Třebešice is in good company.

“Many of the pieces are surreal and with a little humor or irony,” Mr Di Stefano said about the work displayed at the chateau.

One of the most popular pieces at the chateau is a prototype of the huge pink neon heart artist Jiří David designed that hung at Prague Castle in 2002. Mr David gave them the prototype and it now hangs in the vast space of their massive barn. An unusual work on display is a bread ossuary done by American artist Jeff Gurecka. He baked more than 400 skulls out of bread.

“It’s connected with the history of the area (the famed ossuary in Sedlec is close to the hotel),” Mr Di Stefano said. “Skulls equal death, but bread is the basic food of life.”

There are only four rooms available to guests in the chateau and as Mr Di Stefano put it “they are artworks themselves.” One of the more unique ones was done by Mr Percossi who is a visual artist. The Black and White Room, furnished in a 1930s style, is in shades of gray, similar to a period photo.

“Inside you have a feeling you are in a black and white photo with the only color being you and your belongings,” Mr Di Stefano said. “It’s very special, like a fairytale.”

Apart from the chateau, Mr Di Stefano and Mr Percossi own the Futura and Karlín studios in Prague.

“Hosting the artists is always a fun and demanding experience,” Mr Di Stefano said. “Artists are special people with their own idiosyncrasies.”

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team 

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Alberto Di Stefano is the owner of Chateau Třebešice. He and Eugenio Percossi renovated it. Since 2003 artists have stayed there to make art for the building.

Idiom: Bring back to life: In this context, ‘bring back to life’ means to restore to a workable quality.

Mr Di Stefano thinks the hotel is a work of art. “It’s not a hotel which happens to have art, but an art institution that happens to have hotel rooms,” he told The Word. Art was an important part of bringing the building back to life. Today the building contains 80 pieces of work with plans to expand.

Stay vs. live: You live in your house but stay somewhere for a short time like in a hotel.

Many hotels have invited artists to stay. The Savoy in London asked Claude Monet. Today it still asks artists to come and decorate their space. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai invites up to 18 artists to stay from three to six months, asking in return a piece of art from each.

“Many of the pieces are surreal and with a little humor or irony,” Mr Di Stefano said about the work at Chateau Třebešice.

One of the most popular pieces at the chateau is a prototype of the huge pink neon heart artist Jiří David designed that hung at Prague Castle in 2002. Mr David gave them the prototype and it now hangs in the vast space of their massive barn. An unusual work on display is a bread ossuary done by American artist Jeff Gurecka. He baked more than 400 skulls out of bread.

“It’s connected with the history of the area (the famed ossuary in Sedlec is close to the hotel),” Mr Di Stefano said. “Skulls equal death, but bread is the basic food of life.”

The rooms at the chateau are also like works of art. Mr Percossi designed a room to look like a photo from 1930s.

Apart from the chateau, Mr Di Stefano and Mr Percossi own the Futura and Karlín studios in Prague.

“Hosting the artists is always a fun and demanding experience,” Mr Di Stefano said. “Artists are special people with their own idiosyncrasies.”

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

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 “It’s not a hotel which happens to have art, but an art institution that happens to have hotel rooms.” That’s how Alberto Di Stefano describes Chateau Třebešice, the Renaissance estate near Kutná Hora he owns with fellow Italian Eugenio Percossi. The pair bought the chateau in 2000 when it was in ruins. When they had made it livable by 2003, they began bringing artists in, individually and in groups, to do residence at the chateau.

Idiom: Bring back to life: In this context, ‘bring back to life’ means to restore to a workable quality.

“From the beginning art has been considered part of bringing the chateau back to life,” Mr Di Stefano told The Word. “There are more than 80 artworks and we are expanding in the garden, in the stream, the moat.”

Hosting artists in residence is a common practice for cultural organizations and it’s beginning to become popular with hotels around the world. In London, The Savoy, whose first artist in residence was Claude Monet, is continuing the tradition, hosting British artists to contribute artwork to their halls. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai has a motto that ‘The real luxury in life is art.’ They invite up to 18 artists to stay from three to six months, asking in return a piece of art from each.

Twist: Typically, twist is used to mean an unexpected ending. Here it is used to mean personal interpretation was put into the work.

The Corinthia, also in London, has taken a more interactive approach. Last year they hosted a theater troupe to do ‘immersive theater’ with their guests. They plan to continue their unique twist by hosting artists that specialize in a distinct discipline, be it fashion, film or design. The Gershwin Hotel in New York has taken a similar approach, setting aside a room and a studio to artists for up to two months. Film-makers, dancers, writers and singers have participated in the program.

The artists invited to stay at Chateau Třebešice each create an artwork or site specific installation for the chateau.

“Many of the pieces are surreal and with a little humor or irony,” Mr Di Stefano said. “Every collection is supposed to reflect part of the owners so maybe the artists understand us.”

Mr Di Stefano said one of the most popular pieces is a prototype of the huge pink neon heart artist Jiří David designed that hung at Prague Castle in 2002. Mr David gave them the prototype and it now hangs in the vast space of their massive barn. An unusual work on display is a bread ossuary done by American artist Jeff Gurecka. He baked more than 400 skulls out of bread.

“It’s connected with the history of the area (the famed ossuary in Sedlec is close to the hotel),” Mr Di Stefano said. “Skulls equal death, but bread is the basic food of life.”

There are only four rooms available to guests in the chateau and as Mr Di Stefano put it “they are artworks themselves.” One of the more unique ones was done by Mr Percossi who is a visual artist. The Black and White Room, furnished in a 1930s style, is in shades of gray, reminiscent of a period photo.

“Inside you have a feeling you are in a black and white photo with the only color being you and your belongings,” Mr Di Stefano said. “It’s very special, like a fairytale.”

Art is not only for their home when it comes to this pair – they also own the Futura and Karlin Studio galleries in Prague. Because of this, they have access to many artists and curators so finding new projects is never a challenge – choosing them is a bit more difficult.

“Hosting the artists is always a fun and demanding experience,” Mr Di Stefano said. “Artists are special people with their own idiosyncrasies.”

Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona

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