15th April was Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday. So why not make it a date to celebrate art itself? That’s precisely what the board of the International Association of Art thought to themselves in 2011 when they voted to declare 15th April “World Art Day.” In a statement released at the time, the IAA – a UNESCO initiative first set up in 1954 – explained their reasoning: “The turmoil we are currently living through needs the power that freedoms of thought and speech can bring to this world. And who better to lead this effort than artists?”

At Colección SOLO we couldn’t agree more. With an ever-growing collection of works by creative talents from across the globe, and an extensive programme of artistic patronage, we’re backing up our firm belief in art with bold, ambitious actions.

Taiwanese-American artist Mu Pan, for example, is currently working on a large scale commission for Colección SOLO, to add to the five pieces which already form part of the collection. A consummate storyteller, Mu Pan draws together influences from Japanese and Chinese folk traditions, US history, and popular culture to create action-packed, life-and-death scenes.

Gary Taxali, meanwhile, uses humour to comment on contemporary life, as in The Anointment, part of Colección SOLO. Canada’s leading pop artist, Taxali was actually born in India and views his multi-cultural, multi-lingual upbringing as key to his development: “The artist I am today is framed by my Indian and Canadian heritage.”

Home, memory and belonging are also fundamental to Ghasem Hajizadeh’s work. The veteran Iranian artist has developed a unique style of portraiture, blending Qajar-style painting with modern-day images. The Colección SOLO piece, Concord, is a fine example. And a fitting tribute for World Art Day. Many happy returns, Leonardo!