David Datuna is a Georgian-born American artist (b. 1974, Tbilisi) now living in New York. Over the past several years Datuna’s noted series, Viewpoint of Millions, established his signature technique of laying a cascading veil of varying optical lenses over an intricate, multi-dimensional narrative. In December 2013 David Datuna became the first artist in the world to utilize wearable technology in a contemporary work of art on a monumental scale with Portrait of America from the first installation in his Viewpoint of Billions series. Portrait of America debuted during Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 at The New World Symphony, then headed to Lincoln Center in New York City. In February 2014 the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery featured Portrait of America during, with a record breaking 27,000 visitors waited for over 2 hours to see Datuna's work, expanding the definition of a 21st Century portrait. A feature length documentary film that traces Datuna's journey from Tblisi, Georgia to today was completed in 2015, and is currently playing at film festivals around the world. At the 2015 Raindance Film Festival in London the documetary received their most esteemed award, winning 'Best Feature Film.' His current projects include: Project Freespace–with plans to launch a satellite in orbit to communicate with his art; Latvia–Freedom of Millions, Georgia–Hope of Millions, Datuna–Rainbow Flag, all part of his Freedom Flag Collection from his Viewpoint of Millions series. David Datuna’s mixed media sculptures have received critical acclaim on three continents for over a decade, merging elements of conceptual and pop art, creating a thoughtful and visionary body of work celebrating cultural identity and freedom.
Smithsonian Magazine noted an important moment in art history:
"As a work of art, Portrait of America marks a dynamic contemporary moment in the intersection of culture and technology. Datuna, an émigré from Soviet Georgia, used Google Glass as a 21st-century tool to illustrate the nation’s continuing sense of “E Pluribus Unum.” The flag’s symbolism conveys the idea that, despite today’s cultural fragmentation and diversity, we are somehow still bound together, one from many."
David has continued to press the boundaries of art in exploring how we perceive cultural identity as individuals, social groups, even nations. He explores the meaning and sources of complex cultural identity through a conceptual iconography based on portraits, flags and icons. Lying beneath the undulating surface of eyewear fused together to create a prismatic surface, is a fragmented layer of collaged images and text harvested from political, cultural and social publications. Datuna's objects stand in witness to the history and powerful status of the celebrated emblems captured, distilled and subsequently reflected back to us for personal re-examination. His artwork pays tribute both to Jasper Johns' series of American flags and to the exploitation of the found object and collage tradition. Yet perhaps more powerfully, it imbues timeless images with new meanings by anchoring them both in the present and in their rich history.
Structurally, the eyeglasses are a symbolic expression of identity, illusion, perception, fragmentation and unification. For the artist eyeglasses represent our diverse society with peoples of all different color, sizes and shapes–each with their own positive and negative points of view. From a distance the sculptures can be seen as a kaleidoscopic image that unifies the whole as a symbol; on closer inspection the viewer can discern collaged books and newspapers headlines of political and social culture, along with pop culture images of celebrities, innovators and leaders that dared to be different. The themes provide not opinion, but a roadmap to identity and history, encouraging people to thoughtfully consider, ponder and respect individual viewpoints from their point of view.
David Datuna exhibits widely in the US, Europe and Asia, and is well represented in important private collections worldwide.
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Datuna
Datuna Portrait of America Official Trailer:
Reuters reports on David Datuna at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
David Datuna / Viewpoint of Millions: Mr. President Legacy / 2012 / New York City
David Datuna / Viewpoint of Millions: Beyond a Dream / 2012 / New York City
David Datuna / Chaotic Past / 2011 / Los Angeles