Jay-Z / Picasso: Opposition of Imaginations, 2013
Mixed media wall sculpture
67 x 51 x 5 inches each
Courtesy of the artist and Contessa Gallery
In the work ‘Jay-Z / Picasso: Opposition of Imaginations’, Georgia-born American artist David Datuna suspends a network of positive and negative optical lenses over the portraits of these two hugely influential cultural giants; the resulting distortions and reflections symbolise the various points of views and attitudes held by people towards the same image.
Datuna perceives Picasso as “embodying and conceptualizing the energy, fundamentalism and expression of the twentieth century” while fragmenting Jay Z’s portrait represents “modern art as an experimental puzzle”. American hip hop artist Jay Z might be delighted to see himself in such hallowed company: having rapped about a love of art and describing himself as the new Picasso in his 2012-13 song ‘Picasso Baby’.
The last two years have been significant for Datuna: ‘Portrait of America’, which uses Google Glass to capture viewers’ interactions with images embedded in the artwork, was installed at the Smithsonian and his biopic won the best feature film at the Raindance Film Festival.
For more information see contessagallery.com
Hedge, issue 40, April 2016, pp50-57