Taking a bite out of hunger
1 May 2021 at 8:00 am
An innovative five-part art series will focus on the intrinsic connection between nutrition and food security using symbolic animations, sound and imagery
A major American food company is teaming up with an acclaimed performance artist – who famously ate an $150,000 banana at an art show – to sell a series of non-fungible token artworks that will raise money for hunger prevention.
The Dole Sunshine Company has announced a partnership with Georgian-born American artist David Datuna to create a five-part art series titled Taking a Bite Out of Hunger.
This collaboration was inspired by Datuna’s exploits in 2019, when he ate a banana duct taped to a wall at the Art Basel fair in Miami that had sold for US$120,000 ($150,000).
Datuna – who said eating the banana was his “art performance” – has since become known as the Hungry Artist and his latest project aims to increase awareness of food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide.
The partnership forms part of Dole’s campaign to provide access to good nutrition for one billion people by 2025.
The artworks will be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital assets that exist on the blockchain, a decentralised method of storing data where transactions are recorded in a transparent and secure way.
They provide a verified digital certificate of ownership, meaning that while the asset may be copied and shared by others, you own the original version.
The artworks themselves are focused on the intrinsic connection between nutrition and food security, representing people coming together to take a bite out of hunger.
Sunshine for All, the final piece in the series, is a pop-art inspired montage of the first four pieces that features Datuna’s signature lens technique – which covers the artwork with a top layer of mosaic lenses.
Datuna said he was excited about the collaboration.
“I’m a big fan of companies that understand their responsibility for stewardship and admire Dole’s goals to support ending hunger, achieve food security, end food waste, and promote sustainable agriculture,” Datuna said.
“My NFT collection for Dole, along with the physical artwork, tells this story through symbolic animations, sound and imagery.”
Net proceeds from the NFT sales will be donated to the not for profit Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to fund hunger-focused programs and bring nutritious food to cities across the US.
Dole global president Pier-Luigi Sigismondi said the company had sought out Datuna because it knew it could not provide access to good nutrition for 1 billion people alone.
“To create systemic change, we need to converge purpose with creativity, innovation and technology. This effort is the best representation of how we want to make a difference in this world,” Sigismondi said.
“As a brand that can literally eat its purpose, David’s perspective on using art and digital technology as a platform for awareness and societal change, is one that clearly resonates and inspires us.”
The artworks will be available to buy on NFT auction platform Rarible on 6 May.