Quisqueya Henriquez
Limited Art Edition 2014 [detail]

Quisqueya Henriquez

Quisqueya Henriquez

Quisqueya Henriquez (b. 1966, Havana, Cuba) works across collage, print, video, installation, and sound and provokes conventions of race, ethnicity, and gender encountered in Caribbean and Latin cultures and practiced universally. Her work focuses on stereotypes originating in corporeal notions of beauty and athleticism, perpetuated by contemporary ideals of cognitive ability, economic achievement, political power, and art history.

She has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries in Europe, the United States, and Latin America, and has received awards from the South Florida Cultural Consortium, the Concurso de Arte E. León Jimenes, and the
Knight Foundation. Her works are in major public and private collections in the United States and the Dominican Republic.

Quisqueya is the first Limited Art Edition artist for Davidoff.

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“I have always had in mind to work with images that illustrate time and the many different steps involved in the tradition of cigar making.”

The finely layered images, inspired by the artist’s multiple visits to tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, both capture the time consuming process of cigar making and references the artist’s native Caribbean culture. One of the most persistent images throughout her prints is the image of the tobacco leaf, especially the complexity of its natural design.

Quisqueya Henriquez also used the Rorschach technique to create a visual field of depth and establish an interactive relationship with the cigar and her pattern designs. Each work in the edition is composed of three or more superimposed photographic impressions of tobacco leaves. Each layer has a slightly different hue, and each allows for a degree of transparency.

Although color manipulation is quite prevalent in some works, the natural color and texture of the tobacco leaf can still be apprehended in the abstract compositions. The final pattern is based on the use of metallic colors inspired by the cigar’s relationship with luxury and beauty.

Artist Statement

For some time now I have been creating or recreating patterns that I use directly in my work, as well as in the spaces where I exhibit. This aspect of my work is related to the idea of eliminating blank space, working with shapes and color saturated surfaces to somehow break the continuity of the white cube. This idea comes from the design concepts of architect Arne Jacobsen: having complete control over the design of a building, from the doorknob or curtains to the structure itself, Jacobsen was even designing fabrics to be used in its interiors.

Another feature of my work is the use of the internet as a source of images. I believe the Internet is currently the most political tool for redefining geographies, despite of what access to it implies, geography continues to determine positions of power in the world. The use of images that exist in the public domain and the fate of these once they don’t belong to one person, not even to the institutions; is another aspect of my work. Exploring these ideas has multiple conceptual implications, such as: appropriation, Internet theft, copying, or simply the question of authorship. I also want to emphasize that in these works there is a strong interest in working with artists recognized by the mainstream -or ignored by it- as in the case of the Hard Edge painter Frederick Hammersley; also to associate authors by gender, or their conceptual connections despite having worked at different times, or by their formal affinities. Some how I connect artists as well I connect myself to them.

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