David Datuna (b.1974)


David Datuna was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1974. He lives and works in New York. Before becoming an artist, David Datuna worked in an eyeglass store and his previous career had a profound influence on the artworks that followed. He notes that learning to fit glasses onto people had a lot of similarities with making art, and each day he saw how people viewed the same objects through a variety of different frames and lenses. In a way, he could affect the way people viewed the world. Taking this idea forward into his artworks, works from the Viewpoint of Millions series are formed by laying a network of hundreds of optical lenses over largescale layered, collaged and painted images.

Beginning with collaged photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings and painted areas that together form instantly recognisable images such as the American or British flags, portraits of stars including Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, or logos of luxury brands, the artist then overlays them with a cascading veil of eyeglasses, creating stunning optical effects. David Datuna's mixed media sculptures have received much critical acclaim internationally for over a decade. Paying homage to Jasper Johns and the tradition of collage, the artist combines elements of pop and conceptual art to produce a fascinating body of work that infuses timeless images with new meanings. With exhibitions throughout the US, in Paris, Russia and Ukraine, Datuna's works form part of important private collections worldwide.

Datuna: Portrait of America is a feature length documentary film directed by Brian Bayerl and produced by Michael Huter that follows the fascinating story of David Datuna as he dreams of becoming an artist whilst a child in his native Georgia, to having one of his major pieces seen by 27,000 visitors over a three day period at the prestigious Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington in 2014. The film traces Datuna's artistic successes as he becomes the first artist worldwide to use wearable technology in a contemporary artwork, yet highlights the personal challenges he faced such as being an aspiring immigrant escaping oppression and a battle against cancer. Premiered in Europe at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival in London, the documentary won the festival's most esteemed award, 'Best Feature Film'.

Exhibitions at Alon Zakaim Fine Art:

Unity - Fashion - Fame, 5-7 Dover St, 21 - 28 September 2016