Ukrainian Futurism in the East Village

Like each of our hotels, The Standard, East Village is deeply attuned to its neighborhood, drawing energy and inspiration from Cooper Square’s colorful cast of characters. This year, Ukrainian Village’s rich traditions have stood front and center. As we witness the Ukrainian people’s spirit and resilience amid war with Russia, the international outpouring of support has hit close to home. To stand in solidarity with our neighbors and friends in the community, we started speaking to Ukrainian creators with unique points of view—enter WAONE, whose new mural at the hotel debuts Tuesday, August 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  

WAONE is an artist who began his career in 1999, tagging corners of Kyiv with the Ingenious Kids crew. From there, WAONE (an alias for Vladimir Manzhos) began creating public murals with his creative partner, Aec. The duo quickly gained renown for their surrealist influences, fantastical stories and monumental forms wherever their work cropped up. The team assumed the name Interesni Kazki, or “Interesting Fairy Tales,” and created art across the globe: Australia, Mexico, San Francisco, Moscow and beyond.

The artist’s new mural at The Standard, East Village was created to celebrate Ukrainian identity. 

“Before the pandemic and before the war I traveled all over the world to paint large mural works,” WAONE told The Standard. “Most of the murals I created fit to the place/surroundings and were inspired by the local cultural specificities. This time I don’t need to make cultural research because I am working on a piece that aims to represent the Ukrainian spirit. It is also so significant for me that this work will be shown in the East Village, near the heart of Ukrainian American culture.”

WAONE’s influences draw on Ukrainian traditions: His father’s Orthodox icons and other mythic symbols of his home country. He also explores Russian figuration of 1920s, Post-Soviet hip-hop culture, Soviet tradition of book illustrations, and more. Yet his art pushes those visual ideas into cosmic places, marrying the divine with fantasy, imagination and greater questions of human existence.

Proceeds from the unveiling will benefit to The Ukrainian Museum and Palianytsia, a Ukrainian charity initiative based in Lviv, Ukraine which helps refugees and war victims. 




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