News | Davidoff Art Initiative

Davidoff Art Initiative Announced

Basel, Switzerland/Miami Beach, Fl., USA, December 8, 2014 – Oettinger Davidoff AG, the worldwide leading manufacturer of premium cigars, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, presented the new artist studios for the Davidoff International Art Residency and announced during Art Basel in Miami Beach the next Dominican artist to take part in the Art Residency and a new recipient of Art Grants. These programs are part of the Davidoff Art Initiative, which was launched in 2012 with the mission of supporting contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean and Dominican Republic and fostering cultural engagement between the Caribbean region and the rest of the world.

As Associate Partner of Art Basel for the third consecutive year, Davidoff Cigars operated a VIP hospitality lounge in the Collectors Lounge as well as an outdoor lounge in the Botanical Garden. “Once again, we return from Art Basel in Miami Beach with new experiences, new contacts, new friendships, and perhaps most importantly, having further solidified the visibility and reputation of our brand in the eyes of cultural aficionados from all over the world,” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO and member of the Board of Oettinger Davidoff AG. “There is really no event quite like Art Basel Miami Beach, with its enormous attendance from North America, South and Central America, Europe and even Asia, and its vast press coverage. In this important and intense gathering of high net-worth individuals and opinion-makers, it is heartening to know that the Davidoff Art Initiative now counts as one of the most innovative and respected art initiatives, not only in our own industry, but among luxury lifestyle brands worldwide.”

New Artist Studios for the Davidoff International Art Residency
In collaboration with Altos de Chavón School of Design, the International Art Residency will host the first five international artists at the newly built residency facilities in La Romana, Dominican Republic, from January 18 to April 5, 2015. They will work in new, custom-built artist studios designed by Adolfo Despradel, Director of Planning and Design, Costasur Dominicana S.A. at Altos de Chavón School of Design, the country’s leading institution for art and design education. The maquette of the new studios was on view in the Davidoff Cigars Lounge in the Botanical Garden at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Nominated by a global network of art professionals and selected by the International Advisory Council, the five artists in the inaugural group represent a diverse range of artistic practices and backgrounds. They are deeply interested in engaging with the social and cultural fabric of the Dominican Republic.

The five artists are: Alia Farid (b. 1985, Kuwait/Puerto Rico), Nuria Montiel (b. 1982, Mexico City, Mexico), Cathleen Mooses (b. 1982, Chicago, IL), Mathilde Rosier (b. 1973, Paris, France), and Soledad Salamé (b. 1954, Santiago, Chile). In addition to pursuing their own work during the residency, the artists will have opportunities to engage with the Dominican cultural community, as well as with students and residents of Altos de Chavón and the neighboring region.

Davidoff Art Residency in Beijing, China
Engel Leonardo will be the sixth artist to take part in the Art Residency. He will be in residence at the Red Gate Gallery Residency in Beijing, China, from May 1 through June 30, 2015.

Engel Leonardo (b. 1977, Baní, Dominican Republic) works across sculpture, installation, site-specific interventions and ready-mades to address issues related to climate change, nature, traditional crafts, architecture and popular culture of the Caribbean. “This residency program will allow me to do research about the production of objects in China, from traditional craft practices to industrial objects of mass production,” said artist Engel Leonardo. “Industrialization, globalization and the integration of international trends have significantly impacted the local lifestyle and traditions of the Caribbean, and they have altered the physical environment as well. My research will be documented through drawings and photographs that will create a taxonomy of Chinese objects to be compared with the imported objects typically used in the Caribbean.”

Davidoff Art Grants
Davidoff Art Initiative has selected Tilting Axis as the recipient of the next grant. Tilting Axis is a regional meeting based in Barbados aimed to promote the exchange of artists and professionals working within the visual arts communities across the wider Caribbean region. Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity will take place from February 24 – 25, 2015 in Barbados.

Davidoff Limited Art Edition 2014 by Quisqueya Henríquez
The first Limited Art Edition cigar boxes were launched during Art Basel in Hong Kong in May 2014. These editions were also available in Davidoff’s Lounge inside the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Featuring original commissioned artwork by the important acclaimed Caribbean artist, Quisqueya Henríquez, two Limited Edition cigar cases were produced, and stocked with custom-made cigars blended exclusively for the edition. In addition, the artist was invited to create a limited run of fifty Collectors Edition, which include the special edition of cigar case, as well as an original artist’s print from the series of images developed for the project. Part of all sales generated by the Limited Editions are dedicated to supporting the Davidoff Art Initiative

Furthermore, building on the success of the special-edition collaboration, several new works by Quisqueya Henríquez were on view in the Davidoff Collectors Lounge at Art Basel in Miami Beach, from December 3 – 7, 2014. The artist presented an intervention in space that included the design of the walls as an inseparable part of the artwork on view. Henríquez explores stereotypes related to race, gender and cultural conventions. Humor, parody, deconstruction and appropriation are some of the approaches that she has used to explore different media including collage, video, photography, installation and sound.

Curator Amy Rosenblum-Martin said, “Although Quisqueya has been described as neo-Dada, her true passion lies in how a process or activity can turn into art and as public participation gives meaning to that work, making the cliché one new paradigm.”


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