Aspiring American artist David Datuna, whose work “Putin – Mona Lisa” (“Putin Couture” series) only days ago rocked the world of art, is appealing today to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
To clarify the situation, Igor Tsesarski, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Kontinent media group telephoned the artist and received first-hand information.
— Just about a month ago all world mass media including Kontinent media group were buzzing about your work «Putin Couture», which was bought for 200 thousand euro by some Russian businessman in Moscow. It looks like even the news from «art-fields» of auctions Sotheby’s and Christie’s did not cause such enthusiastic response and discussion. And while it is still the talk of the town, you have prepared a new sensation. Could you please reveal any details?
— With pleasure. It’s about my direct reaching out to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich. It is not a secret that Ukraine and Poland will be hosting the European Football Championship in 2012. Without any exaggeration — it is a remarkable event for the country, a magnificent chance to demonstrate to the world the best of its public life, economy, culture, etc.
More than a billion people all over the world will be following the events on the football field, but at the same time they will focused on Ukraine, too.
As far as I know the country has been thoroughly preparing for the championship. But I think one of the main ideas of this sports event should also be a spiritual aspect. It is important to demonstrate the beauty, spirituality, strength, and uniqueness of the country to the world. And this can be done through art.
— So you offer the host of Euro-2012 an art project, which according to your appeal to the president, requires a powerful benefactor?
— Yes, indeed. I have a vision the concept of which I sketched on paper. I hope to create a monumental installation, grandiose in size and unique in set up, in the center of Kiev. The main part, 50-70 m long, will be on the ground. 16 flags of the participating countries will comprise a glass wall showing the eyes of the people of different nationalities, races, and creeds. Enormous energy created by the millions of eyes will transfer to a colorful rainbow, which will be transmitted by the powerful laser in the sky above Kiev and reach 100 km to the East and West.
— From what you have said, it sounds that your concept has an idea of fellowship.
— Yes, you’re right. The idea of this installation is unification. Unification of Ukraine itself and East and West, a natural bridge between which is this amazing country. And making installation in the center of Kiev is a happy moment of community, a chance to feel the energy and spirit of people living on earth. In spite of opposing views on Ukraine in the western press, I’m planning to show deep and beautiful soul of the people and ideas uniting them.
The scale of the installation undoubtedly requires support of the Ukrainian leader, without his help it would be very difficult to realize the plan. The presentation is completed, and it is important to finalize the discussion of the project and move on to the technical part.
— History has a number of interesting facts of relationships between artists and authorities. Most of them have an unhappy end for the artist. Are you concerned about this fact?
— I don’t even think about it. It’s important to show the world that art can unite people just like Euro-2012. This is one of the reasons why I’d like to set the installation concurrently with the championship. I believe the installation can show the world a face of new Ukraine.
— Why would an American artist be interested in such an unusual project in Kiev? There are many other cities in the world…
— I see. First of all, Kiev is one of my four “small” motherlands. Part of my blood is Ukrainian. Secondly, within the last several years, together with Tatyana Mironova’s gallery we’ve done a lot of work in art – forums, exhibitions, professional collaboration. We represented Ukraine in the international art-arena, and did it quite well!
— Did Mironova’s gallery present “Putin Couture” in Moscow?
— Yes, this project was presented by Tatyana Mironova’s gallery.
— David, I can’t help thinking about this idyllic setting… The country with political issues on the rise and grave disagreements with neighbors in the East and West suddenly will metamorphose thanks to your powerful dosage of extraordinary talent. I wonder, how did Ukrainian officials respond to your presentation?
— Very positively and on the highest level. But I’ll repeat: the project is so big that it can hardly be realized without president’s support. We live in the real world, where certain things depend on the decision of the highest authorities. Especially because the goal is unconventional and so ambitious. But I consider my project essential because it will give a soul to this sports event. European football championship is a competition, passion, hope of victory, and my installation is a soul of Euro-2012.
— So, beauty will save the world…
— I don’t doubt it a bit!
— Who else will be taking part in your project?
— It’s been prepared with a number of recognized artists from Ukraine, USA, France, Great Britain, and Poland in collaboration with Tatyana Mironova’s gallery and Kivi Art Group.
— Well, I wish you a realization of your ideas. I count on seeing you on the Independence Square in Kiev.
— Thank you. I hope so.