Art Basel banana-eating artist David Datuna loves NFTs – Quartz
To some people, many NFT transactions can be called absurd proposals. Swapping cryptocurrency for a catalog of weird digital assets – tweets, YouTube videos, obnoxious sound bites, virtual sofas, renders of luxury bags, or even newspaper articles – can read like a prank call.
So it makes perfect sense that David Datuna, the Georgia-born artist who gained great notoriety for brazenly eating Maurizo Catellan’s absurd $ 120,000 banana art at the Art Basel Miami 2019 fair, takes the stage. Earlier this week, he revealed his first foray into NFT with a series of five mixed media collages auctioned on Rarible starting May 6. artistic performance ”titled“ Hungry Artist ”.)
Unlike the custodians of the traditional art world who are skeptical of cryptoart, Datuna approaches NFTs without mocking. He belongs to the camp who believes they can be a democratizing force in the elite art world, and argues that they could benefit unknown “starving artists” without the gallery representation to get a showcase. in a big art fair, like Art Basel.
“It’s a really good cool platform. I don’t know what his future will be, but when I first came to America I remember how difficult it was to find a gallery [representation]. You go from gallery to gallery, trying to sell your art. And when I say sell your art, I mean sell you, ”Datuna recalls. “This platform is ideal for artists because they can meet the public directly. There was no way it could have been done 20 years ago.
Datuna, whose work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, is still propelled by this alien spirit. He’s not inclined to judge some of the more offbeat NFT offerings like he did with Catellan’s Banana. “Everything that comes out of our emotions is art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s digital or physical, ”he says. “You don’t have to be a teacher to understand it.” The winning bidder of one of its NFTs will receive the physical equivalent.
But has he seen any absurd NFTs that he would like to eat? “I am a starving artist. I want to eat all the NFTs, ”he laughs.
NFT for Charities
Titled Sun for everyone, Datuna’s NFT series is a collaboration with Singapore-based Dole Sunshine Company, the 170-year-old multinational’s new $ 2 million innovation fund, which is trying to raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs. of America.
The project is one of a series of charities and nonprofits vying to raise funds and share some of the public spotlight recently given to NFTs. “With the rise of NFTs, we have recognized a unique opportunity and a true convergence in the way we do business and reach consumers,” says Pier Luigi Sigismondi, President of Dole Sunshine. He explains that cryptoart has become particularly popular in Singapore since the country-based crypto investor Metakoven won Christie’s historic auction for Beeple NFT. “The auction and the successful bid generated a lot of excitement and discussion in the country. We are now channeling this wave of NFT and the excitement it brings to the tech and art world to tackle a global problem, ”Sigismondi wrote in an email. He says they chose to partner with Datuna because they were impressed with his social advocacy and his reputation as a “starving artist” fits with Dole’s message of ending hunger in. the world.
Proceeds from several high profile NFT sales have benefited charities. For example, Jack Dorsey has donated $ 2.5 million from the sale of his first tweet to Give Directly Africa Response’s COVID-19 efforts, and Beeple is tapping into his newfound fame to deal with the alarming environmental toll involved in token mining NFT. Last month, the South Carolina graphic designer sold another multi-million dollar NFT to benefit the Open Earth Foundation, a nonprofit that raises awareness of climate change issues in the art space. digital.