Daniele Fortuna

Daniele Fortuna

Born in Milan in 1981, Daniele Fortuna is known for his painted wood sculptures inspired by classical subjects.

Carving the wood, Fortuna recreates Greco-Roman busts and adds bright colors and unexpected features, bringing them back into the contemporary world.

He creates a bridge between past and present: a Colormination, as he says in the titles of his works, in which the chromatic contamination dominates his art.



      Born in the bustling city of Milan in 1981, Daniele Fortuna embarked on his artistic journey from a young age. The vibrant cultural scene of Milan, with its rich heritage of art and design, piqued his curiosity and set him on a path of exploration. Fortuna's formative years were marked by frequent visits to notable artist studios and prominent art galleries throughout Milan. These early experiences were pivotal in shaping his artistic sensibilities and deepening his appreciation for the arts. Seeking to further his understanding and skills, Fortuna enrolled in the prestigious European Institute of Design (IED) in Milan. Here, he immersed himself in the study of art and design, refining his talents and forging the foundation of his future career.

      The trajectory of Fortuna's career took a significant turn when he moved to Ireland, settling near the vibrant city of Dublin. This relocation was driven by his pursuit of new study and work opportunities, marking a new chapter in his life and career. It was in Ireland, within the creative confines of a lighting studio, that Fortuna discovered his affinity for wood. This material, with its natural warmth and versatility, captivated his imagination and became a central element in his artistic endeavors. Through the meticulous process of carving, Fortuna explored a myriad of shapes and patterns, allowing him to bring his visionary ideas to life in tangible forms.

      After completing his studies in Ireland, Fortuna returned to his homeland of Italy, where he began to translate his artistic visions into reality. His initial forays into the art world were characterized by the creation of wooden paintings. These unique artworks consisted of colored and shaped wooden pieces, meticulously assembled to create intricate puzzle-like compositions. Over time, Fortuna's artistic repertoire expanded to include three-dimensional works. He initially focused on crafting representations of animal subjects, which showcased his ability to capture the essence of the natural world. As he continued to evolve as an artist, Fortuna began to incorporate classical Greco-Roman icons into his works, blending them seamlessly with contemporary Pop art elements. This innovative fusion of classical and modern aesthetics has come to define Fortuna's distinctive style, establishing him as a notable figure in the contemporary art scene.


      From an early age, Daniele Fortuna was drawn to the materials and proportions of the paintings in his parents' collection. He pondered the stories behind these artworks and what inspired their creation, leading to an interest in artists like De Chirico, Sassu, and Fontana for their usage of shapes and colors.

      Daniele Fortuna's sculptures, predominantly wooden and painted with acrylics, showcase a blend of material texture and vibrant colors. This fusion is encapsulated in the term "colormination", a neologism he coined that combines the words “color” and “contamination” to signify his approach towards classical busts in his art. The colors in his art vary from pastel to fluorescent, metallic, and even glittery shades, with some pieces revealing multicolored layers beneath a white exterior.

      From the tender moments of his childhood, Daniele Fortuna found himself captivated by the allure of the art collection adorning the walls of his family home. The materials and proportions of these paintings were not just mere decorations to him; they were windows to vast worlds of history, emotion, and artistic expression. Fortuna would often find himself lost in thought, contemplating the stories and inspirations behind each piece. This early exposure to art ignited a flame of curiosity within him, drawing him towards the works of illustrious artists like Giorgio de Chirico, Renato Guttuso, and Lucio Fontana. He was particularly fascinated by their innovative use of shapes and colors, which challenged traditional perceptions of art and inspired him to explore his unique creative voice.

      As Daniele Fortuna ventured into the realm of sculpture, he brought with him a deep appreciation for the interplay between form and hue. His sculptures, primarily crafted from wood and adorned with acrylic paints, stand as testaments to his mastery of combining material texture with a dynamic color palette. This unique blend is eloquently described by the term "colormination," a neologism Fortuna himself coined. "Colormination" merges the concepts of "color" and "contamination," reflecting his artistic process of infusing classical busts with a vibrant spectrum of colors. This approach not only showcases his reverence for classical art forms but also his desire to disrupt and redefine them through the lens of modern aesthetics.

      The palette of colors Fortuna employs ranges from soft, understated pastels to bold, eye-catching fluorescent hues, alongside metallic and glittery finishes. This diverse color range allows him to create pieces that are visually striking and emotionally resonant. Some of his sculptures feature a deceptive simplicity on the surface, with a pristine white exterior that hints at traditional marble busts. However, a closer examination reveals hidden depths, as layers of multicolored paint lie beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered. This technique adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to his work, inviting viewers to delve deeper and uncover the hidden narratives encapsulated within each sculpture. Through his art, Daniele Fortuna continues to challenge conventions, blending the old with the new in a celebration of color, form, and imagination.


      In the reflective musings of Daniele Fortuna, one can discern a profound connection between the artist and his chosen medium. Fortuna muses, encapsulating a sense of predestined affinity with this natural element. He describes wood as a 'warm' material, a characteristic that resonates deeply with him not only through its tactile qualities but also in its symbolic representation of warmth and conviviality. Fortuna sees himself in the essence of wood—its porosity and tactile warmth mirror his own nature as a person deeply rooted in companionship and community.

      "Wood was a material that I already felt was mine. I find it a 'warm' material because, when you touch it, you feel that it has that kind of porosity even though I paint it. And this being 'warm' represents me because I am a very convivial person, a person of companionship. Wood, then, is also alive because it expands and shrinks, it really has a life of its own."

      This warmth, according to Fortuna, extends beyond the mere physical sensation of touch. It reflects a deeper, more intrinsic quality of wood, highlighting its dynamic and living nature and its natural ability to expand and shrink. This characteristic imbues wood with a sense of life and personality, traits that Fortuna finds a reflection of his own dynamic and evolving artistic journey. It's this lively interaction between the material and the environment that fascinates him, a testament to wood's enduring vitality and its capacity to tell stories through its natural lifecycle.

      While wood undoubtedly holds a special place in Fortuna's artistic repertoire, his explorations have not been confined to this single medium. His forays into using plexiglass, mirrors, and concrete represent a broader canvas of experimentation, blending his foundational interest in art with his academic background in design. Each of these materials brings its own set of unique properties and challenges, allowing Fortuna to push the boundaries of his creative expression. Plexiglass and mirrors introduce elements of reflection and transparency, playing with light and perception in ways that wood cannot. Concrete, on the other hand, offers a stark contrast to the organic nature of wood, presenting a more industrial and solid medium through which Fortuna can explore different dimensions of form and space.

      Through this diverse material palette, Daniele Fortuna continues to expand his artistic vocabulary, integrating the tactile and the visual, the natural and the man-made. His work becomes a bridge between his personal narrative and the broader discourse of contemporary art and design, where the warmth of wood meets the cool precision of plexiglass, mirrors, and concrete. In doing so, Fortuna invites us to reconsider our relationship with materials, urging us to see beyond their conventional uses and appreciate their inherent beauty and potential for storytelling.


      "If you look at the whole history of art, there has always been a remaking of something that already existed before; and so, instead of looking for absolute originality, in my opinion we need to focus on what we have (also because anyway the cultural background we have is fantastic and it is to be paid homage to) and make it more contemporary by updating it."

      Daniele Fortuna's artistic process is a captivating fusion of historical reverence and modern innovation. His sculptures often start with the time-honored forms of classical Greco-Roman busts, which he then reinterprets through the lens of contemporary craftsmanship. Utilizing wood as his primary medium, Fortuna employs a technique that layers the material in a manner reminiscent of digital pixelation, creating a multidimensional effect that bridges the tactile and the virtual. This method not only showcases his technical prowess but also his conceptual ingenuity, as he navigates the realms of ancient sculpture and digital-age aesthetics.

      Fortuna's works are vibrant tapestries of cultural and pop iconography, drawing from a diverse array of inspirations. Influential figures such as Maurizio Cattelan and Takashi Murakami inform his approach to blending high and low cultural references, while the visual language of fashion logos, global brands, and beloved cartoon characters imbues his sculptures with a sense of immediacy and familiarity. Icons like Albert Einstein and the legendary rock band Queen are reimagined through Fortuna's unique perspective, alongside characters from the pantheon of pop culture such as Batman, Mickey Mouse, and The Rolling Stones. He also pays homage to a spectrum of artists, from contemporary figures like Banksy, Kaws, and Yayoi Kusama, to masters of the past such as Mondrian and Vermeer, weaving a rich dialogue between historical legacies and contemporary narratives.

      In merging these vivid, pop-inspired hues with the classical shapes of Greco-Roman busts, Fortuna creates a dynamic interplay between past and present. He is mindful of the historical accuracy of colored sculptures in antiquity, challenging the long-held misconception of their monochromatic appearance due to pigment loss over time. Through his work, Fortuna advocates for a "contemporary return to the past," suggesting that art is an ever-evolving continuum that honors its roots while embracing the pulse of the present.

      Fortuna articulates a philosophy that views art as a cyclical process of reinterpretation and homage. This perspective champions the value of drawing inspiration from the vast reservoir of cultural heritage, not as a quest for absolute originality, but as a means to engage with and refresh our collective memory. By infusing ancient forms with contemporary sensibilities, Fortuna's work embodies a dialogue across time, inviting viewers to reconsider the boundaries between the old and the new, the classical and the cutting-edge.


      Daniele Fortuna's artistic oeuvre is marked by its diversity and ingenuity, particularly evident in his acclaimed sculpture series: Colormination and Thologiny. These collections stand out for their innovative approach to classical and contemporary subjects, showcasing Fortuna's skill in blending historical reverence with modern creativity. His works navigate the rich territories of mythology and popular culture, featuring venerable figures such as Zeus, Aphrodite, and Venus, alongside modern icons like Batman, thus creating a dialogue across different epochs and narratives.

      The Colormination series is characterized by its striking visual concept, where sculptures of classical subjects are presented in a predominantly monochromatic scheme, usually white, that serves as a canvas for an explosion of vibrant colors. This "contamination" of color disrupts the traditional aesthetic associated with classical busts, infusing them with a contemporary vitality. The effect is both startling and captivating, challenging viewers to reconsider their perceptions of classical art forms. Through Colormination, Fortuna invites us into a world where the past and present collide, highlighting the timeless beauty of these figures while reimagining them in a modern context that celebrates diversity and the power of color.

      Thologiny, in contrast, focuses on the representation of the heads of classical subjects, offering a unique twist on traditional sculptural presentations. What sets this series apart is Fortuna's imaginative approach to the bases that support these heads. Instead of conventional plinths, these sculptures are perched atop an eclectic array of objects, from whimsical children’s building blocks to delicate macaroons, and even to bases inspired by baroque and classical steles. This creative liberty in choosing the stands not only adds a layer of whimsy and innovation to the works but also allows Fortuna to explore a broader range of cultural and artistic references. The Thologiny series exemplifies the artist's commitment to pushing the boundaries of classical sculpture, infusing it with a playful and inventive spirit that engages contemporary audiences.

      Both the Colormination and Thologiny series reflect Daniele Fortuna's deep engagement with the materiality and mythology of his subjects, while also embracing a playful and exploratory approach to form and presentation. By juxtaposing ancient deities and heroes with elements of contemporary culture and unexpected materials, Fortuna crafts a unique visual language that bridges the gap between the ancient world and the modern era. His work not only pays homage to the artistic achievements of the past but also propels them into the contemporary discourse, inviting viewers to experience classical art through a fresh and vibrant lens.


      In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art, Daniele Fortuna has positioned himself at the forefront of technological innovation and digital integration. He keenly recognizes the shifting paradigms within the art world, particularly the rise of digital art forms and the burgeoning interest in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Fortuna's foray into the realm of phygital art—a blend of physical and digital elements—exemplifies his pioneering spirit and willingness to explore new frontiers in artistic expression.

      Fortuna's adaptation of phygital and NFT artworks is a testament to his visionary approach. He has ingeniously created a series of sculptures that maintain the aesthetic and thematic continuity of his regular works, primarily focusing on classical busts carved in wood. However, these are not ordinary sculptures; each piece incorporates a digital screen embedded within its structure. This screen, a gateway to the digital component of the artwork, remains dormant and displays only black until activated by the ownership of a corresponding NFT, found exclusively on Deodato.io. This unique feature adds an exclusive interactive dimension to the artwork, marrying the tangibility of physical sculpture with the ephemeral nature of digital art.

      Several of these innovative phygital works have been incorporated into Fortuna's acclaimed Colormination series, known for its dynamic interplay of monochromatic forms and vibrant color bursts. By integrating digital screens into these sculptures, Fortuna not only enhances the visual impact of his creations but also invites a deeper engagement with the art piece. The ownership of an NFT serves as a key to unlock the digital layer, offering a personalized experience that bridges the gap between the artist's intention and the viewer's interaction.

      This fusion of physical sculpture and digital technology challenges traditional notions of art ownership and viewer participation. It reflects a broader cultural shift towards digital collectibles and the increasing value placed on digital experiences. Fortuna's phygital artworks represent a bold experiment in how art can be conceived, displayed, and interacted with in the digital age. Through this innovative approach, he not only expands the possibilities of his own artistic practice but also contributes to the ongoing dialogue about the future of art in a digitized world.

      By embracing NFTs and phygital creations, Daniele Fortuna stands at the intersection of art and technology, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in both realms. His work offers a glimpse into a future where art transcends its physical limitations, becoming a multifaceted experience that can be appreciated in both the tangible and virtual domains. In doing so, Fortuna ensures that his art remains relevant and engaging in a rapidly changing cultural landscape, appealing to a new generation of art enthusiasts and collectors who are navigating the complexities of the digital age.


      If you are interested in Daniele Fortuna art for sale, you can find original artworks online on our website. These artworks are provided with a certificate of authenticity.

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