David Datuna

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David Datuna
6 Glass.jpg
David Datuna, 2013
Born (1974-02-10) February 10, 1974 (age 47)
Known forSculpture, installation
Notable work
USA-Viewpoints of Millions
Love of Millions
Make America Stronger Together

David Datuna (Georgian: დეივიდ დათუნა; born February 10, 1974 in Tbilisi, Georgia)[1][2] is a Georgian-born American artist living in New York City.[1][3] His Viewpoint of Millions series explores the sources and meaning of cultural identity from different points of view.[1][3][4][5]

Datuna's signature technique in Viewpoint of Millions is a network of positive and negative optical lenses suspended over a large-scale layered, collaged and painted image.[4] The mixed media palette often includes photography, newspaper articles, magazine clippings, paint and color.[4][5] The prismatic surface both hides and reveals the work below, while the lenses symbolize individual identity, illusion, perception, fragmentation and unification.[4][5] Portraits, flags and icons are recurring themes within the Viewpoint of Millions series.[5]

Datuna's works have been exhibited in Europe, Russia, China and the United States.[1][6][7]


In October 2011, Datuna's portrait of Vladimir Putin made out of miniature images of Mona Lisa was sold for $269,000[8] during the Art Moscow Fair in December, 2011.

In December 2011, Datuna's Steve Jobs / Ayn Rand portrait sold for $210,000[9] at SCOPE Miami Art Show, which became one of the most expensive art pieces sold at the fair that year.[7]

In January 2012, Datuna unveiled an installment in the Viewpoint of Millions art project, titled Viewpoint of Millions: Israel Beyond a Dream in Palm Beach, Florida.[5] The artwork consisted of an Israeli flag triptych assembled in Datuna's style of cascading optical lenses, which represented the past, present and future of Israel.[5] A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork were donated to the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.[5]

In May 2012, Global Art Group created a mobile application for the iTunes Store that lets users create art in Datuna's style, called Viewpoints.[10][11]

In 2012, Datuna, together with Global Art Group and Mironova Art Gallery donated a portrait of Natalia Vodianova created out of Robert Indiana's LOVE symbol to Vodianova's Naked Heart Foundation charity auction.[12] The work brought in $790,000.[12] This was the second consecutive year of Datuna's involvement with the Naked Heart Foundation. In 2011, he donated his installation Chaotic Past, which sold for over $100,000[12] to Irina Viner, wife of Alisher Usmanov, a Russian billionaire, art collector and majority Arsenal shareholder.[12]

In December 2013, Datuna became the first artist to incorporate Google Glass into a contemporary work of art.[13][14] The artwork debuted at a private event at The New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida during the SIME MIA conference.[15][16] The artwork moved to the Miami Design District for the public debut.[17] The event lasted five days with over 1500 people from around the world trying on Google Glass and seeing Datuna's American flag from his Viewpoint of Billions series during Art Basel Week in Miami.[18][19] The piece also displayed at the Lincoln Center in New York.[20][21][22] It is the first of ten flags in the Viewpoint of Billions series.[23]

On October 18, 2016 Datuna unveiled [24] his Make America Stronger Together installation at the doorstep of Trump Tower in New York City. The artist has combined the themes MAKE AMERICA (Donald Trump) with STRONGER TOGETHER (Hillary Clinton) representing a divided nation, and created two monumental works of art with the hope to bring the divided nation closer. The 10 X 20-foot mixed-media sculpture was created in Datuna's signature style contrasting different points of view challenging a fragmented contemporary culture. The work consists of two American flags facing back-to-back covered in a collage of newspapers, quotes, and images reflecting the current climate with the messages "SOS" and "ONE."

On October 31, 2016, Datuna flew[25] both presidential candidates to the Statue of Liberty in an art performance connected to the Make America Stronger Together installation. Datuna chose the New York City landmark for it being the most iconic symbol of American values and its unique status as the beacon of hope for the world. Following his battle with cancer, Datuna established The Fund for Life, a philanthropic organization dedicated to fighting fatal diseases worldwide. In conjunction with the Fund, David also established the Life Award, which is given to corporations and individuals for exceptional contributions to sustaining and saving of human lives. The first recipient of the Life Award[26] became Gilead Sciences, Inc. for its work in Georgia in combating the hepatitis C epidemic.

On June 8, 2017, Datuna created a 10-foot ice sculpture of Donald Trump's name [27] in response to U.S. president's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Sculpture and the art performance was called This Too Shall Pass.

On December 13, 2017 he presented his rendition of the flag of Saudi Arabia to His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the Governor of the Western Provence, as a gift from the Americans to the people of Saudi Arabia.[28] Titled Saudi Arabia - Viewpoint of Billions this mixed media sculpture is Datuna's call for closer human ties between the two countries, with art paving the way to better understanding, acceptance, and unity. This project was done in close cooperation and with support from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and the Ministry of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia.

On 7 December 2019, Datuna ate the banana installed as part of Comedian, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, which had recently sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami. Datuna called his intervention an act of "art performance", dubbed Hungry Artist. He commented that he loves Maurizio Cattelan's artwork and really loves this installation, adding that it was very delicious. He added that “What we perceive as materialism is nothing but social conditioning. Any meaningful interaction with an object could turn it to art. I am a hungry artist, and I am hungry for new interactions.”[29] Galerie Perrotin, which was exhibiting the work, replaced the banana consumed by Datuna and stated that the value of the piece was the "idea", not the physical banana.[30][31]

Datuna: Portrait of America[edit]

In 2015 filmmakers Michael Huter and Brian Bayerl produced a documentary [32] about David called Datuna: Portrait of America. The film tells the story of Datuna's escape from the repression of the former USSR to pursue his dream of cultural and artistic freedom in America. The filmmakers followed him as he worked on the first-ever artwork that fused contemporary art with wearable technology—all the while battling a potentially fatal cancer diagnosis.

The movie received the Best Film Award at the Raindance Film Festival in London,[33] and Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.[34]

It was released to the public via YouTube on 4 July 2017.[35]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

In October 2012, Datuna's solo exhibition titled Emblem and Image[3] featured a portrait of President Barack Obama that traced the arc of African-American political and social experience over 150 years.[3]

In 2013, Datuna opened his Paris exhibition, Beauty and Power, on the prestigious Avenue Matignon which featured fifteen works.[6][36][37]

In October 2013, Datuna opened his Moscow exhibition, Eye to Eye, near Red Square at the Vetoshny Art Center, presented by Gallery Shchukin, where images of Russian icons and leaders like Vladimir Putin and Tsar Nicolas II were reinterpreted through optical lenses.[4][38][39]


  • Georgia - Millions of Hope (2014)[40]


  1. ^ a b c d "David Datuna". Retrieved Mar 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Behr-Thyssen Ltd. :: David Datuna". www.behr-thyssen.com. Retrieved Apr 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "David Datuna Solo Show at Birnam Wood Gallery". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on July 19, 2013. Retrieved Jul 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Дэвид Датуна в арт-центре". Vashdosug. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Blending Philanthropy, Culture and Art". Jewish Philanthropy. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Beauty and Power". La Russie d'Aujourd'hui. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Steve Jobs Portrait Sells for $210,000". Incredible Art. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  8. ^ "Portrait of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Sells for $269,000". Fox News. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  9. ^ Martinelli, Nicole (12 December 2011). "Mashup Portrait of Steve Jobs + Ayn Rand Fetches $210,000". Cult of Mac. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  10. ^ Calimlim, Aldrin. "Viewpoints Brings The Unique Style Of A Well-Known Artist To Your iDevice". AppAdvise.com.
  11. ^ "Viewpoints, App Based on the Eyewear Art of David Datuna". Laughing Squid. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d "David Datuna's portrait of supermodel Natalia Vodianova sells for $790,000". ArtDaily.com. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  13. ^ Sam Dangremond (December 3, 2013). "Art Appreciation Through Google Glass". Town & Country. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  14. ^ Suzette LaBoy. "Art world convenes for Art Basel Miami Beach". Yahoo News!. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  15. ^ Debra Klein (December 4, 2013). "David Datuna Creates Google Glass Art for Art Basel Miami Beach". Daily Beast. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  16. ^ Josh Rubin (December 2, 2013). "David Datuna: Viewpoint of Billions". Cool Hunting. Archived from the original on December 6, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  17. ^ Jacquelynn Powers (December 5, 2013). "Google Glass Meets Miami Art Week With Artist David Datuna". Miami Pop. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  18. ^ Maria Camila Bernal (December 3, 2013). "David Datuna Mixes Art with Google Glass at Art Basel Miami Beach". NBC Miami. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  19. ^ Adrianne Jeffries (December 4, 2013). "'Viewpoint of Billions' uses Google Glass to make art look back at you". The Verge. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  20. ^ Vanessa Golembewski. "Google Glass Gets The Art Treatment In NYC". Refinery29. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Art exhibit uses Google Glass". Fox NY. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  22. ^ Laura Gurfein (December 16, 2013). "Google Glass Gets Artsy at the Lincoln Center Atrium". Racked. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  23. ^ Kristi Garced (December 17, 2013). "Art, Meet Google Glass: David Datuna Talks Viewpoint of Billions". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Make America – Stronger Together sculpture unveiled". Canindia News. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  25. ^ Без комментариев - Самолёт с портретами Клинтон и Трампа пролетел вокруг статуи Свободы :: Телеканал РБК, retrieved 2019-08-29
  26. ^ nuca (2016-12-13). "Heart-shaped Art Installation: Another Masterpiece By Georgian Artist With Incredible Message". CBW.ge. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  27. ^ "This is how people reacted when a guy wrote 'Trump' on a New York sidewalk in dry ice". Upworthy. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "The Artist Who Ate the Art Basel Banana Has a New Show Opening in New York". Observer. Feb 20, 2020. Retrieved Apr 2, 2021.
  30. ^ "Someone ate the $120,000 banana at Art Basel. Some quick thinking saved the day". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  31. ^ "The $120,000 banana taped to a wall: art work has just been eaten by a 'hungry artist'—'it's very delicious'". Newsweek. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  32. ^ Datuna: Portrait of America, retrieved 2019-08-29
  33. ^ "DATUNA: PORTRAIT OF AMERICA wins at the 23rd Annual Raindance Film Festival | The Fan Carpet". thefancarpet.com. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  34. ^ http://www.imdb.org.uk/title/tt4165152/awards?ref_=tt_awd/
  35. ^ Alm, David. "David Datuna's July 4th Gift To America". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  36. ^ "Ludovic Chancel, amoureux : Le fils de Sheila aux anges avec sa belle Sylvie". Pure People. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  37. ^ "La Tendance Du Moment". BFM Business. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  38. ^ "Russian Leaders as Seen by American Artist David Datuna". The Moscow Times. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  39. ^ "Наталья Водянова и другие на открытии выставки". Spletnik. Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
  40. ^ "David Datuna creates Georgian flag's optical illusion". Agenda.ge. Retrieved Apr 2, 2021.

External links[edit]