Brugal 1888 Reveals Miami Artist Collaboration with Alexander Mijares in Time for Art Basel 2022
Home to more than 130 years of Dominican rum mastery, Brugal today unveils a limited-edition, luxury collection of bespoke Brugal 1888 bottles designed by celebrated Miami artist, Alexander Mijares. Using 11 of the iconic bottles as a canvas, Mijares drew parallels between his own life and the legendary rum house's storied history by depicting similar Latin heritage, shared love of family, the pursuit of passion, and the diverse, dynamic vibrancy of Miami culture. Unveiled in time for Miami Art Week, eight of the pieces will be available to the public after December 1 with one purchasable via auction, and proceeds will benefit a local South Florida charity.
"Our collaboration with Alexander Mijares is an expression of passion, legacy and the never-ending pursuit to evolve one's craft. It is an honor to tell our family's story through such artistic expression and in a way that celebrates the vibrancy of our Latin community at large," said Brugal Maestra Ronera Jassil Villanueva Quintana. "Where better to unveil this stunning collection than Miami, a melting pot of our Latin culture."
The themes of family and legacy, as well as the thirst to explore and take inspiration from travel, resonated deeply with Mijares during a firsthand visit to Brugal's home in the Dominican Republic. Here, the family welcomed him with unmatched hospitality and toured him across the Dominican Republic, immersing him in their history. From this trip, Mijares was inspired by the various chapters of the family's 134-year story to create 11 works that detail the beauty behind the process of rum making, how the heart of the Brugal family is poured into every drop of rum they produce, the magic of the island of the Dominican Republic, and more.
"Discovering the parallels between the Brugal family and my own demonstrated a larger story of connection that exists across Latin culture," said Mijares. For example, a piece that represents Cuba lovingly honors a country that unites Brugal and his own family legacies. One featuring sugarcane depicts the importance of the sweet grass to the rum-making process, as well as fond childhood memories when Mijares' grandfather would tell stories of sugarcane while giving him and his siblings pieces to savor. In addition to storytelling shared backgrounds, Mijares also created a piece in honor of Miami. "It is a place that beats deep in my heart. With its many Latino roots and movements, beaches, colors, people and tropical weather, Miami speaks volumes of Latin dynamism," Mijares said. Another piece in the collection, "Progression," portrays Andres Brugal first selling his beloved rum off the back of a donkey, narrating the understanding that with hard work and dedication, you can change the world. "Hard work has been instilled in me from a young age and was an attribute I recognized in the entire Brugal family. I respect them endlessly for how they progress their craft as well as their beloved Dominican home," said Mijares.
Brugal was founded in 1888 by Don Andrés Brugal, who sailed from his natal Spain in pursuit of a dream to create a world-leading rum. He first landed in Cuba where he learned the art of rum making, before settling in Dominican Republic to start his company with his family. They first cultivated the land and sugar cane and then began to distill rum, harnessing the warmth of the tropical sun to imbue their spirit with complexity and flavor, before finally mastering the nuanced art of cask selection. Once the liquid was perfected, Don Andrés traveled across the island and later the world to share his exceptional Dominican rum. Each successive generation of Maestros continued in this pursuit while also imparting their own contributions. Since its founding, Brugal's liquid has maintained consistency in excellence and quality with expertise passed down through 5 generations of family Maestros Roneros, while the company has expanded to also prioritize local philanthropy in an effort to progress their beloved island home.
Mijares' one-of-a-kind works will be unveiled at the Perez Art Museum's Annual Art Basel Celebration on December 1, and eight bottles from the collection will be made available for public purchase afterward. One piece "Brugal Passion, Heart in a Glass" will be auctioned, with proceeds benefitting Special Compass, a South Florida-based organization that helps those with disabilities follow their passions and navigate life through education, sports, and housing, and achieve their dreams independently through inclusion. "Brugal Passion, Heart in a Glass" describes the never-ending pursuit of passion, a common goal shared by Brugal, Mijares and Special Compass. This is the only piece in the collection that features an original, hand-shaped sculpture designed to hold the custom bottle.
This is Brugal's second collection as part of a larger artist series. In 2021, Brugal unveiled 18 bottles encased in Huichol art designed by internationally recognized Mexican artist Cesar Menchaca. Additional global Artist Collections are anticipated through 2023.
For more information on Brugal and the Artist Collaboration Series, please visit https://www.brugal-rum.com.
ANNEX: BRUGAL 1888 LIMITED ART COLLECTION DESCRIPTIONS
- Brugal Passion, Heart in a Glass (Auction Piece) – inspired by the love the Brugal family has for their history, liquid and brand. Their hearts go into every bottle, glass and drop of Brugal that's produced, a shared connection with Mijares' own work. This dedication to the pursuit of passion is linked with our charity partner, Special Compass, which helps disabled individuals pursue their passions.
- Sugarcane, Honoring the Finest Ingredients and Where it all Begins - sugarcane holds sentimental value for Mijares and brings back fond memories of his grandfather who would tell stories about sugarcane while giving the artist and his siblings pieces to chew on.
- Cask Mastery, Exceptional Hand-Picked Casks and the Unique Ageing Power of the Tropical Dominican Sun - this piece heroes the importance that the casks have in the overall rum-making process and honors the family's mastery of the casks and unique ageing techniques to create award-winning rum.
- Jassil – Maestra Ronera, the Woman with the Rose – in this piece, a woman lays down next to a cask holding a rose that looks like a glass of rum. The rose symbolizes Jassil's sensory talents and the enjoyment as rum is nosed so that all of the liquid's aromas and characteristics can be fully appreciated.
- Family, the Feeling of Home in Others – inspired by the Brugal family's bond, this piece details the hospitality, love, passion and care that greets you as soon as you enter the Brugal home.
- Progression, Instilled by Brugal's Founding Father, the Spirit of Progression has Since Lived on Through 5 Generations of Maestros Roneros – This piece was inspired by the story of Andrés Brugal selling his rum off the back of a donkey while traveling across the island, demonstrating that with hard work and dedication, you can build a legacy rooted in strong family values and heritage.
- Cuba, a Country Where Legacies Began – this is where Mijares' family is from and where Andrés Brugal discovered sugarcane and learned the art of rum making.
- Miami, a Tropical Setting of Movement, Dynamism and the beating heart of Latin Culture – with many Latino roots and movements, beaches, colors, people and tropical weather shared with Brugal, this piece celebrates the vibrant culture, movement and dynamism of Miami's Latino influence.
- Music, the Soundtrack of Brugal's Dominican Homeland – This work was inspired by the island's beautiful, natural music swaying through the jungles and trees. Melodies of familiar tunes played everywhere, amplifying the vibrant environment and the ever-present beat of Brugal's homeland.
- Mangroves, Passion and Commitment to the local Dominican Environment – this piece is inspired by Casa Brugal's reforestation initiative and giving back to local environments and communities, a pillar of Mijares' own career.
- Dominican Landscape, Where Water, Beach, Trees and Sunset Meet – This piece depicts the vibrancy and beauty of tropical lands and an appreciation, gratitude and sense of care for the natural world.