Maestro Dobel Serves Up a Taste of Traditional and Modern Oaxacan Designs at Frieze New York

The latest iteration of the top-shelf tequila brand's 'Artpothecary' offers an artistic escape along with cocktails.

The theme for this year's Artpothecary is "Oaxaca: A Lens On Tradition And Innovation." Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

When the art-world cognoscenti needs a break from wheeling and dealing or oohing and awing at Frieze New York (May 18–21), they can head upstairs for a taste of Oaxaca at Maestro Dobel‘s lounge on the eighth floor of the Shed. It’s a calming corner of respite, as well as Mexican crafts and textiles. And yes, the top-shelf tequila is certainly flowing.

Alejandra Martinez has a relaxing moment at the Artpothecary just before the opening of Frieze New York. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

“There’s so much knowledge passed down in the families of artisans in Oaxaca,” she explained. “They have such quality handicrafts that there’s interest from artists and designers from around the world to go work with them. This has created a vibrant scene in Oaxaca that’s really interesting and courageous. They mix their vision with the technology and designs of the contemporary world.”

Javier Reyes's colorful textiles contrast wonderfully with his monotone woven vases. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

Javier Reyes’s colorful textiles contrast with his monotone woven vases. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

it’s all about the interplay and symbiosis between the old world and the new. The theme for this third iteration of Maestro Dobel’s annual Artpothecary initiative is “Oaxaca: A Lens on Tradition and Innovation.” On the opening day of the fair, Artpothecary Creative Director and Anónimo Colectivo founder Alejandra Martinez was holding court in chic terra cotta-colored suit, cocktail in hand, Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel structure gleaming behind her.

Rrres Estudio works directly with local Oaxaca artisans who use traditional techniques. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

Martinez enlisted Marissa Naval of Naval Arquitectura and Javier Reyes of Rrres Estudio to develop a vision of this modern Oaxaca with ties to its ancient traditions. Naval designed a custom bar and furniture, all made from Mexican wood. Reyes’s studio specializes in working with local artisans on small series of handmade crafts. He created a selection of evocative textiles and ceramics that nod to Oaxaca’s past while keeping an eye on its evolution. He balances vivid color with subtle earth tones. Texture is always paramount.

Care for a Mesquite Margarita? Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

Care for a Mesquite Margarita? Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

Martinez discovered Reyes years ago when she was on a trip to Oaxaca. She wandered into his studio after being charmed by seeing his work in the window. “You see woven baskets everywhere in Oaxaca,” she recalls, “but you never see designs like his. And he has a commitment to working with local artisans.”

The Artpothecary will be adapted for Maestro Dobel’s lounges at Design Miami in December and Frieze L.A. next February.

Marissa Naval stands next to the custom bar she designed. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.

Marissa Naval stands next to the custom bar she designed. Courtesy of Maestro Dobel.


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