Datuna: Portrait of America Previews at Frieze Art Week

Documenting the events over the course of one tumultuous year, Datuna: Portrait of America portrays the compelling life of Georgian-American artist David Datuna.  The film follows his childhood dream to leave the former USSR in pursuit of cultural and artistic freedom in the United States.  Familiar faces, including the Design District’s Craig Robins, weigh-in on the artist’s journey, which at its heart, raises questions about identity and nationality through the lens of new mediums.

Video: Trailer

For the past two years, Datuna has been exploring new ways to engage broader audiences with 21st century devices such as wearables and apps.  One such work, “Portrait of America,” is a 12-foot American flag comprised of pop culture and historic images, veiled by hundreds of interconnected eyeglass frames and lenses. Datuna was the first to use GoogleGlass as a tool for audiences to interact with the installation, and unveiled “Portrait of America” for the very first time in the Design District during Art Basel 2013.  Months later, thousands were lined-up at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for the first public exhibition.  

Datuna Portrait of America

The film follows the ebbs and flows behind the scenes, and the artist’s mad-dash between shows in Miami and New York during an intense 100-day period.  Viewers are also privy to intimate moments in Datuna’s personal life, notably the poignant discovery that he has stage-three cancer.

Datuna: Portrait of America features interviews with President Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgia; former associate director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Nik Apostolides; and Miami-based producer Mike Huter.  Select audiences are invited to a private screening during Frieze Art Fair week in New York at the prestigious Directors Guild of America.

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