DAVID DATUNA

 

David Datuna

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 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 Presidents' Day weekend, expanding the definition of a 21st Century portrait. 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.

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 symbols, flags and logos. 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 peopkes of all different color, sizes and shapes with 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 unique points of view.

David Datuna exhibits widely in the US, Europe and Asia, and is well represented in important private collections worldwide. Artist website: datuna.com

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Datuna

 

VIDEOS

Reuters reports on David Datuna at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

http://youtu.be/a2Sj3K_LPMo

 

David Datuna / Viewpoint of Millions: Mr. President Legacy / 2012 / New York City

http://youtu.be/2knrOaj4gF4

 

David Datuna / Viewpoint of Millions: Beyond a Dream / 2012 / New York City

http://vimeo.com/35144254

 

David Datuna / Chaotic Past / 2011 / Los Angeles

http://youtu.be/ejluLRhFUto

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID DATUNA LAUNCHES SECOND PART OF HIS VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS SERIES ARTIST TO LAUNCH SATELLITE IN SPACE AS A 21ST CENTURY TIME CAPSULE THROUGH HIS ART

PROJECT FREESPACE will allow participants all over the world to use their wearable or handheld device to submit their artwork to David's artwork, where it will be stored on a special drive that will be placed into a cubest satellite, and launched into space in 2017. The concept is "art through art, from Earth to Space." You must create art to participate. That can be in the from of visual art, dance, music, creative writing etc. You simply create your art and upload it using the PROJECT FREESPACE app that will launch in the Summer of 2015. Your work will become a permanent part of this 21st Century time capsule that will be launched into space in 2017 for future generations to explore. Once in space the satellite will communicate with its participants and will allow them to interact in unique ways. It is the first time in history a project like this has ever been attempted, giving a global audience a chance to particpate in a project invloving space and advanced satellite technology. For more information visit projectfreespace.com

 

DAVID DATUNA CREATES NEW VISUAL LANGUAGE WITH HIS FIRST INSTALLATION FROM HIS GROUNDBREAKING VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS SERIES

'Viewpoint of Billions,' was a groundbreaking interactive artwork by artist David Datuna. It served as a social experiment with the 1st generation wearable technology Google Glass with plans to evolve with future generations of wearables. Glass is understood as an early version of version of wearable technology similar to the brick cellphone in concept. As the TV. computers and the cellphone evolved, so will wearables right before our eyes. It is hard to see how wearables will become a part of our daily live at this moment in time, but it is always that way with monumental advances. David Datuna's Viewpoit of Billions series will explore and experiment with this phenomenom as it serves as a mark in history. The first installation in the series Portrait of America became the first large scale interaction with wearables in the world, through art.

Quotes on the success of the project from Smithsonian Magazine:

"For three days, more than 23,000 visitors waited in long lines to participate in what became a blockbuster event"

"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."

"Artist David Datuna has created a groundbreaking installation"

 

One of the most important aspects that was paramount to the project was not letting technology get in the way of the art–the technology was meant to work as a high-tech tool of engagement. 'Portrait of America,' the seminal work of David Datuna’s “Viewpoint of Billions” series, a 12-foot multi-media flag that became the first public installation and artwork in the world to utilize first generation wearable technology, with an early verion of Google Glass. The vision of an artist whose story is akin to the American dream, 'Portrait of America' chronicles the journey of a diverse and great nation through a new visual language as viewers interacted with the work.

"It's not about technology, it is about engagement. As artists we have to look at new and creative ways to engage a 21st Century audience. Google Glass is merely a tool to assist with expanding my narrative. I predict new tools like Glass and wearable technologies in general, will become part of a growing list of innovations for the art world in general to explore, in a variety of ways. I am sure wearables will rapidly evolve from the crude early versions like Glass. That is when they will become more relevant, just like the TV, computers and cellphones did, nobody in the begining would have thought they would become all that they are in our society.  It's important to understand, I'm not a technology artist. I am merely looking for ways to engage a 21st Century in meaningful ways with my traditional works of art. My concept behind including Glass is clear, how do I reach the most diverse and widest possible audience on a large scale to communicate my messages? We are at such an exciting crossroads in our society, in a world filled with innovation and access to information. What we all do with this information and innovation will ultimately shape our future in positive or negative ways. The Viewpoint of Billions series will explores our past, present and challenges us to create an exciting and rewarding future." David Datuna, Artist

The monumental flag, the first of possibly 10 works in the "Viewpoint of Billions" series, is covered in Datuna's signature style with hundreds of eyeglass lenses. The series is designed to create a experiential dialogue through a sculptural veil of optics to draw the viewer to the thematic collage inside his work. The prismatic effects invite inspection, while offering a vehicle for observation, and expanding the definition of modern portraiture.

Portrait of America in particular is a fascinating exploration of the American spirit and of individuals whose contributions have helped form, guide and define the United States as a culture and a nation. Many of the embedded images in the artwork include such disparate historical and contemporary figures as George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., even Lady Gaga. Each resonates, in different ways, with a multi-cultural American audience. Poignant moments revealed within the flag recall generations of innovators who often dared to be different—figures like Vint Cerf, Nicholas Tesla, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and dozens more.

Portrait of America is a dramatic visual expansion of his conceptual work, creating a seamless way for the artist to extend his vision to the viewer through instant access to information and advanced sharing capabilities. Using this Twenty-First Century tool, Datuna's visual language is fused with fragments of collective experience define much of what is distinct in American culture. The themes provide not opinion, but a roadmap to identity and history, encouraging people to thoughtfully consider, ponder and respect individual viewpoints. The unique technological capabilities of Glass adds another dimension to the traditional pieces the artist has been creating for nearly a decade. 

"It's not just about technology, it's about the thoughtful and deliberate ways that artists can broaden our horizons. When you give a visionary like David Datuna new tools and put a device like Google Glass in the hands of the public - amazing things happen,” said Nik Apostolides, National Portrait Gallery. “That's what a museum like ours is all about: new and creative forms of expression that connect history, biography, and art. Throughout the years, new Americans who come to our shores seeking values like justice and freedom of expression can give us a fresh appreciation of everything that is unique and important about our nation. David is a true pioneer."

"This was one of the largest audiences I can remember turning out for a specific artist installation at the National Portrait Gallery in over 30 years" said Amy Henderson, Cultural Historian at the National Portrait Gallery after the exhbition at the Smithsonian in Feburary 2014.

'Portrait of America' through its hundreds of optical lenses, communicated directly with its audience, prompting questions and taking photos through the viewfinder of Glass. For those who opted in, the total experience is recorded though the built-in camera in Glass, and cameras imbedded in the artwork. Images in the artwork, along with voice, triggered videos and interactive experiences that were seen through the viewfinder of Glass. Guests had their portraits taken wearing Glass, and the see-you see-me outcomes were archived by the art and sent out via social media to share with the world. The artwork evolved with each interaction, creating a timeline to share with future generations comparing points of view. Visitors were be able to go to datuna.com to see their digital collage of videos and portraits become a permanent part of the artworks traditional paint and paper collage.

Tens if thousands got a chance to experience Viewpoint of Billions with 'Portrait of America.' 

"Wearables are about to change just about every aspect of life in the near-term future and Glass is the flagship product. David Datuna has been exploring how the technologies of today will take art beyond where it has been. He is the ideal artist-pioneer to incorporate Glass into authentic, inspirational and perhaps controversial works of art," stated Shel Israel, Co-Author with Robert Scoble of The Age of Context.

SAMPLE VIDEO FROM VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS SEE-YOU-SEE-ME OUTCOME: http://youtu.be/7s8cKbo3tlc

 

DAVID DATUNA, CHANGING THE WAY WE LOOK AT ART:

http://artdaily.com/news/68181/A-12-foot-Google-Glass-activated-American-flag-on-view-President-s-Day-weekend 

 

Contact

IF YOU WOULD LIKE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ARTIST OR VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT BELOW:

 

DATUNA: PORTAIT OF AMERICA

A FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY FILM WILL BE RELEASED IN THE 2015


DECEMBER 3, 2013

'VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS,' PORTRAIT OF AMERICA

NEW WORLD SYMPHONY, SIME CONFERENCE

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

 

DECEMBER 4–8, 2013

'VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS,' PORTRAIT OF AMERICA

MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT, ART BASEL WEEK 2013

MIAMI, FLORIDA

 

DECEMBER 16–18, 2013

'VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS,' PORTRAIT OF AMERICA

LINCOLN CENTER, DAVID RUBENSTEIN ATRIUM

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

 

FEBRUARY 15–17, 2014

'VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS,' PORTRAIT OF AMERICA

SMITHSONIAN
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
Eighth and F Streets NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
npg.si.edu
  

DATES AND TIMES
Presidents' Day Weekend
February 15–17
11:30 am–7:00 pm
Free and open to the public

 

BIRNAM WOOD / GALLERIES

 

DAVID DATUNA

 

ELEMENTS

 

Exhibition: May 1 – June 7, 2014

 

Reception: Thursday, May 1 – 6pm

 

 

 

Birnam Wood Galleries/Chelsea

 

514 West 24th Street

 

212.242.2270

 

birnamwoodart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATUNA: PORTAIT OF AMERICA

A feature length documentary film to be released in 2015 datunamovie.com

 

Genre: Documentary Feature  (74 min) USA
Director: Brian Bayerl
Writers: Brian Bayerl, Michael Huter
Producers: Michael Huter
Cast: David Datuna, Elizabeth Orlov, Susan Tisch Allan, Det Ansinn, Salome Devidze, James Cavello, Patrick Dawson, Louis Canales, Nik Apostolides, David Datuna Jr. and others.

Synopsis:
Documenting the events of one tumultuous year, Datuna: Portrait of America follows the compelling journey of artist David Datuna as he pursues a dream of cultural and artistic freedom in his adopted country, the United States. An émigré from the former USSR, the incredible trek traces his steps from Tbilisi, Moscow, Miami, New York and ultimately to tens of thousands at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in the shadow of the nations capital. As Datuna becomes the first contemporary artist in the world to utilize wearable technology in a work of art, his personal life takes a dramatic turn when the artist discovers he has stage 3 lung cancer. This remarkable story chronicles one man's quest to achieve his dreams against seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Recent Press:

"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 wearable technology 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." -SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

 

 

"Datuna's work reexamines what it means to be American" Fast Company

"The artwork evolves with each interaction" The Verge

"Datuna finds a way to move viewers engagement beyond smartphones and selfies" Hyperallergic

"Portrays important events and figures in American cultural history" Town & Country

"Artist uses new medium" USA TODAY

"...m
useumgoers waited in 2-to-3-hour lines" USA TODAY

"
Datuna’s multifaceted vision of our diverse nation" Washington Post

"Datuna...enters the fourth dimension" BBC

"
Datuna has created a groundbreaking installation" Smithsonian Magazine

 

"Viewer becomes part of the artwork" Associated Press

"Datuna Mixes Art with Wearable Technology" NBC

"Patriotic art brought to life" Reuters

 

"Russian Leaders as Seen by American Artist David Datuna" Moscow Times

"mind-and-eye twisting works by David Datuna" Miami Herald

"Congratulations!" The White House

 

 

 

 

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    Before he became an artist, David Datuna made his living working in an eyeglass store. Learning to fit people with glasses, in many ways, was a lot like making art, he says. Every day, he saw how people viewed the same object through different lenses, ...

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  • Art, Meet Google Glass: David Datuna Talks Viewpoint of Billions

    The exhibition, open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium, ends today. The second flag in Datuna's series — a French flag — is slated to make its debut in Paris in March with Kiwi Arts Group and ...

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