June 29, 2016

Leasho Johnson selected for Brooklyn residency and Natalia Gamez’s Bogotá residency open studio

Davidoff Art Initiative

Leasho Johnson, Lost at Sea 2, 2012. Mixed media on canvas, 46 x 50 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Davidoff Art Residency in Brooklyn
Leasho Johnson has been chosen as the next artist to take part in the Davidoff Art Initiative’s Brooklyn, NY Residency, which this fall will be moving to Residency Unlimited. Johnson’s residency will run from September 2016 to November 2016. Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1984, Johnson earned his BFA in Visual Communication at The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica and has since participated in several local and international exhibitions.

Johnson’s work aims to redress what he sees as a distinct lack of global understanding of traditional Jamaican Dancehall culture despite it largely defining the international perceptions of Jamaican identity. “Jamaican Dancehall culture is vibrant, dynamic, and oftentimes controversial. It is relevant to contemporary Jamaican youth and informs political, social and racial views in Jamaica,” says Johnson. “My current work attempts to elucidate both the hidden wildness within this aspect of Jamaican culture and my own place in society as a gay man from rural Jamaica.” Using original characters he has named “Pum-Pum” which act as exaggerated mirrors of male and female gender roles found in Dancehall culture, Johnson juxtaposes imagery grounded in traditional realism with that of stylistic cartoons to highlight the differences in the two styles. His practice incorporates various media and formats such as ceramics, mixed media, murals, street art, graphic design and found objects.

Davidoff Art Residency in Bogota
Dominican artist Natalia Ortega Gamez, the first artist selected for the new residency program at FLORA ars+natura in Bogotá, Colombia, will be hosting an open studio on Saturday, July 16. During her residency at FLORA ars+natura, Ortega Gamez will expand upon her current project, Los Tejedores, which explores traditional weaving patterns in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti with a focus on artisanal processes and materials—such as clay, bamboo, and fibers—Gamez works to emulate natural processes while still incorporating artistic tradition and design. The July 16 open studio is an opportunity to preview the work and visit FLORA ars+natura.

Davidoff Art Edition
The second Davidoff Limited Art Edition, featuring work by Jamaican-French video artist Olivia McGilchrist, was launched globally at Art Basel, Basel in June. The 2016 Davidoff Limited Art Edition cigar boxes are produced in an edition of 7,000 and each includes a unique still from McGilchrist’s commissioned video work, from many sides, and 10 Perfecto cigars. A highly limited run of 16 Collectors Editions were also released at Art Basel, each accompanied by one of 16 numbered editions of the commissioned video, a unique still image from the video, and a signed certificate by the artist. A select number of editions are still available for purchase online, with part of the revenue generated by the 2016 Davidoff Limited Art Edition dedicated to sustaining the Davidoff Art initiative and supporting artists from the Caribbean.

About the Davidoff Art Initiative
The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations in the Dominican Republic, shares knowledge and expertise about contemporary art and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. At the core of the Art Initiative, Davidoff aims to engage closely with the arts and culture of the Dominican Republic, where much of its production and many of its employees are based, bringing opportunity and visibility to the art and culture of the Caribbean region, and extending the company’s long-standing commitment to artistry, craftsmanship, community and quality. The Davidoff Art Initiative’s four global program areas are Art Residency, Art Dialogues, Art Grants, and Art Editions.


Media contacts
For further information, images, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Blue Medium, Inc.
Elisabeth Meddin or Kat Mills: [email protected][email protected], T +1 212 675 1800

Oettinger Davidoff AG
Albertine Kopp, Manager Davidoff Art Initiative: [email protected]


Davidoff Art Initiative announces Leasho Johnson selected for Brooklyn residency and Natalia Gamez’s Bogotá residency open studio

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.