From its long and rich history as one of the world’s finest cigar producers, Davidoff emerges as the leading sponsor this year at Art 43 Basel. On its 100th anniversary, Davidoff has been slated to be the lead sponsor for all three Art Basel fairs, in Miami, Basel, and Hong Kong. Quite an extraordinary anniversary gift to the art world!
Spilling over from their expert knowledge of craftsmanship is a desire to nurture such quality within artistic practices. Unlike other sponsors, Davidoff is forging ahead on its own, unique trajectory: to build an artist’s residency on its property in the Dominican Republic, where it can provide support for the realization of artists’ work and stimulate cultural exchange on the small nation itself.
At the Art Basel Davidoff Lounge reception on Tuesday, Davidoff’s President and CEO Hans Kristian Hoejsgaard cited the ubiquitous presence of cigars within culture – artistic, literary, historical – as a natural starting point for the inception of their residency program. Practically every bon vivant has enjoyed a cigar in the late afternoon, reflecting on worldly or philosophical matters. The cigar has quietly burrowed itself into our collective consciousness, with venerable promoters such as Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, and Che Guevara all touting its benefits. Even Martin Parr, famed photographer and collector, recently released his own brand of limited edition cigars.
In this case, a cigar isn’t just a cigar: Davidoff’s motivations include the art of growing, craftsmanship, living, of simple pleasures. What artist wouldn’t love to seek the same objectives on a Caribbean island?