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Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Daphne Arthur

Zadig & Voltaire is committed to philanthropy and bringing awareness to organizations that augment the state of communities around them. In response to this year’s tumult, we have launched ‘Art Is Hope’ a campaign that highlights and supports these groups. So far, we have partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Black Art In America and L.A. Dance Project.


Art is a core pillar of the house and is also the source of positivity and inspiration during uncertain times. In collaboration with artists such as; Jormi Graterol, Daphne Arthur, Steve Prince, Amanda Wachob, Najee Dorsey, Khalif Thompson and Benjamin Millepied and many more we have been able to share the missions of these organizations and their formidable work.

Steve A. Prince's Art

Steve A. Prince is a mixed media artist, master printmaker, lecturer, educator, and art evangelist. Steve is a native of New Orleans and the crescent city's rich tradition of art, music and religion pulsate through his work. He uses the language of the line in a rhythmic and powerful way. Prince's art is inherently narrative and metaphorically complex. He uses a rich, visual vocabulary of signs and symbols to tell stories that express his unique vision founded in hope, faith and creativity. Prince is the fourth artist to partner with us in support of Black Art In America an organization committed to the documentation, preservation and promotion of the contributions of the African American arts community founded by Najee Dorsey in 2011.

Steve A. Prince's Art

How did your relationship with Black Art In America come to be?


I have known about the social and communal work Black Art in America (BAIA) has consistently done for several years supporting, exposing, educating, and championing the brilliance of African American artists to a global market. It was in the midst of the Pandemic that we forged a relationship and I began selling my works in BAIA’s on-line store. After forging our relationship I started an on-line program sponsored by BAIA called Black Lite, and I do comparative analysis of African American artists artwork. Last summer I started a new series of Watercolor Monotypes primarily focused on Jazz music, and everyday scenes in African American culture. The process is spontaneous, improvisational, and very colorful. I sift through a dense-pack of colors on specially treated plastic by cutting them into different shapes, arrange them onto a piece of Plexiglass, and run them through a press to create collage-like compositions that ultimately is a design exercise of space and symbols. The process of creating these works was therapeutic and pure. The Pandemic rested on the heels of a community based-project that I designed and conducted in Williamsburg, Virginia commemorating the 400th anniversary of the “first 20 and odd Africans” to arrive at Point Comfort (Hampton) in 1619. It was called the “Links Project.” Over the course of 6 months I worked with over 500 people from 20 different countries in the creation of individualized puzzle-like pieces carved with a rotary tool, that was assembled into a 4’ x 32’ woodcut, and printed with an industrial steamroller. The Links Project metaphorically represents our inextricable connections as a global community and the importance for us to continue to find creative, and innovative ways to grapple with the deep-set issues that plague our world.



Have you found yourself creating any new daily rituals in response to COVID 19 ?


When the Pandemic hit and the reality that we were in this for the long-haul I created a routine for myself that involved making home cooked meals, exercising, meditating, reading fiction, watching Netflix, creating art, and producing free on-line content on YouTube. The key ingredient that I stepped up in my life was physical activity, it is important in this moment to keep moving and don’t stop.

Steve A. Prince Wall Art


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Daphne Arthur main banner

Daphne Arthur is a contemporary artist, who currently lives and works in New York City. Daphne combines painting, sculpture, drawing, and collage, as well as unexpected materials, in an effort to break down archetypal aesthetic barriers and stereotypical perceptions on issues of race, gender, religion, and cultural identity. She purposefully blends two-dimensional forms with three-dimensional figurative casts in her paintings, and predominately utilizes smoke in her drawings, to go out of her way to capture viewers’ attention. This decision compels them to confront her determination to knock down social and cultural paradigms that have gained the status of “truth” at the expense of individual personality, thought, and achievement. Daphne is the third artist to partner with us in support of Black Art In America an organization committed to the documentation, preservation and promotion of the contributions of the African American arts community founded by Najee Dorsey in 2011.


Daphne Arthur was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1984. In 2007, she went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to get her Bachelors of Fine Art and then to the Yale School of Art to get her Masters of Fine Arts in 2009. While getting her bachelor's, she received residency in 2007 for the Ox-Bow School of Art and also received the American Academy of Rome, Affiliated Fellowship while she was in graduate school. After getting her BFA and MFA, Arthur participated in multiple group exhibitions and solo exhibitions. Over the years, she has been a curator, artist and designer, a teaching assistant, and a teacher. Arthur is currently an Adjunct Professor at York College, Brooklyn College and SMFA Tufts University.

Daphne Arthur Art

How do you think this global experience will impact the overall art industry?


I think it’s allowing the market to open up a little more, it’s more accessible, for example, the art fairs are happening virtually and therefore allowing more visibility. You can give an artist talk or a lecture and people from all over the world will join the session, that’s really unprecedented not to be limited by space nor time. However, I hope that the accessibility will not overpower the importance of seeing art in person, it’s meant to be experiential and so much gets abstracted and omitted through the mediation of the screen. Now we are living through a new era of art in the age of digitization and algorithms, this empowers us as artist and viewers to imagine new ways of reaching out, experiencing, cultivating, and mining our world and perspectives in ways that are ever more interconnected.



What is your relationship with BAIA? How did it come to be? Can you fill us in on past projects of note etc?


I have been following BAIA for quite some time, I was encouraged and drawn to the platform they created to bring visibility and diversity in the art world, opening up the gamut in art history and contemporary investigations and dialogues. I reached out to Najee Dorsey with my work and he immediately engaged with my work. Often it can feel very isolating being an artist, on top of that an artist of color and find whom you can have a genuine conversation about the practice or advice on how to take the career to another level, without the fluff, ego, and taboo. Najee and BAIA have supported my practice and that of so many artists, they have created a cultural hub for this millennium.

Daphne Arthur Wall Art


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Art is hope banner image

L.A. Dance Project

Founded in 2012 by Benjamin Millepied LA Dance Project is comprised of 12 full time dancers but its repertory features multidisciplinary collaborators such as musicians, film makers and composers. Zadig & Voltaire’s creative director Cecilia Bonstrom and Millepied have been long time friends & collaborators; first partnering when Zadig sponsored Millepied’s photo exhibit in Kyoto in 2019. Earlier this year LADP joined our Art is Hope project when we launched our Art Is Hope X LADP T-shirt to support and raise awareness of the amazing work that Millepied and his company create. Through this partnership in Art is Hope we were able to co-sponsor the LADP’s Drive in Dance series that took place in Los Angeles this fall. Our latest collaboration is this exclusive capsule collection available only in the USA. Each of the 17 styles designed in our Paris atelier embody the ‘dancer off duty’ spirit. Discover our signature silhouettes re imagined alongside brand new items such as legwarmers & a matching tracksuit. A percent of the proceeds from each ZV X LADP item sold will be donated to LADP.*



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Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Amanda Wachob

NYC tattoo artist Amanda Wachob is the latest artist collaborator to contribute to the Zadig & Voltaire Art Is Hope program.

Wachob’s bright and sunny studio based in Williamsburg set the scene for our interview.



How does art directly impact your mental health?


Creating is my therapy. It’s a daily practice for me, a commitment I show up for even when I may not feel particularly inspired, because it’s something I have to do in order to feel healthy. Focusing on a new idea can immediately quiet my mind and pull me out of any sort of rumination.

Art is hope banner image with quotes

How do you think this global experience will impact the overall art industry?


Can we find a connection across technology? A lot of galleries have switched their exhibitions to online viewing rooms. Like most industries, I think it’s going to take some time for the art world to recalibrate. I have a show opening up at a gallery in Boston this September, and we are brainstorming about having a Zoom opening reception for it.



Why did you choose NAMI-NYC charity as a partner?


I chose NAMI-NYC because with all of the turmoil going on in the world, mental health is extremely important in this moment.

Image of jackets collection

Your customized leather jackets features a rainbow. Can you tell us why you chose that symbol and a little about the method used to paint it on to the leather?


A rainbow is a symbol of hope. They always feel like a good luck charm when they appear. I thought it might be nice to have one to carry around when a moment like that might be needed. The rainbows have actually been tattooed permanently into the leather. So putting the jacket on and taking it off, is like having a removable tattoo! The colors that appear in the rainbow have been pulled from the palette of the new Zadig &Voltaire collection.



Art Is Hope - Amanda Wachob
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Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Khalif Tahir Thompson

Zadig & Voltaire is committed to philanthropy and bringing awareness to organizations that augment the state of communities around them. In response to this year’s tumult we have launched ‘Art Is Hope’ a campaign that highlights and supports these groups. So far we have partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Black Art In America and L.A. Dance Project.


Art is a core pillar of the house and is also the source of positivity and inspiration during uncertain times. In collaboration with artists such as; Jormi Graterol, Amanda Wachob, Najee Dorsey, Khalif Thompson and Benjamin Millepied and many more we have been able to share the missions of these organizations and their formidable work.

Two of Khalif Tahir Thompson's art pieces

Khalif Tahir Thompson is a New York City based artists represented by Black Art In America. Thompsons work can be found in prominent private collections nationally as well as the permanent collection of the David C. Driskell Center. Zadig & Voltaire’s Head of Creative Ryan Gendron recently had the pleasure of visiting Khalif in his NYC studio to discuss the world today. Scroll down to read the full Q&A.

Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Khalif Tahir Thompson

How has this moment in time impacted your craft and creative process?


Between a global health crisis, and the continued racial injustices pervaded by law enforcement particularly against Black Americans, I have felt at times unmotivated to work. However, in maintaining my mental health, I have looked to my creative practice for solace and comfort. I have been compelled to transform my surroundings and express myself during this difficult time.


Art is a core pillar of the house and is also the source of positivity and inspiration during uncertain times. In collaboration with artists such as; Jormi Graterol, Amanda Wachob, Najee Dorsey, Khalif Thompson and Benjamin Millepied and many more we have been able to share the missions of these organizations and their formidable work.



How do you think this global experience will impact the art community?


This crisis has forced the art community to reimagine itself and navigate different ways of communicating art to the public. In response to the closing of major art institutions and cultural centers, much of our community have begun to create more accessible spaces online. I foresee more events and programming being implemented on Zoom and other virtual platforms. As well as online exhibitions and studio visits. I think this global crisis will increase (DIY) programming by artists and creatives, expanding diverse viewership/ conversations on art.



What does “Art is Hope” mean to you personally?


Art is Hope is a mantra I live by every day, through the consumption of music, painting, writing, ritual making, papermaking, film, etc. I foster hope and inspiration to create.Art has always been my survival and lifted me when down. Art is the greatest gift and hopes I carry, motivating me to start the day.



Now that NYC is in phase 4 of reopening is there anything, in particular, you have loved doing these past weeks?


Going out to a restaurant outside for the first time, I love food. I'm also a huge thrifter, collector of plants, and I'm a city kid, so I've enjoyed going downtown for some walking and shopping.

Art Is Hope - Khalif Tahir Thompson
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Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Najee Dorsey

What does “Art is Hope” mean to you personally?


To me art has always been the perfect representation of HOPE. Art has the ability to transform negative things and feelings into positive. It has the ability of making us see beyond the problem and create and envision a future filled with positive ideas and energies. Art can do a lot of good in societies and communities that have experienced traumas or difficulties. When people have the possibility to do something that gives them hope and a sense of meaning, that might make a difference for them.


Art has the capability of making you feel that you exist and organically connects you with everything that is essential, resulting in hope that changes your mindset for the better.


Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Jormi

What does “Art is Hope” mean to you personally?


There are perhaps no better two words in the vocabulary than Art and Hope. As an artist I use my creative imagination to document our existence and envision a world that I want to exist. Hope is a resource, something precious to hold on to that allows us to dream and believe in things that may seem insurmountable. Art and hope has been the Crossroads I've traversed my entire life. It is the blessing I wish on humanity.


Art is hope banner image displaying the artist Cecilia Bonstrom

What does “Art is Hope” mean to you personally?


For me art makes you dream, and sometimes when you go far away maybe you suddenly realize that life is actually not so bad after all. It can help you reconnect with reality again. And hope is the only motor that makes you move forward, so Art is hope.