LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
Dave's family escaped Yugoslavia in the early 1960's to start a life in the border town of Windsor Ontario connected by two major arteries to Detroit. When he was born his parents cut the Croatian language, history, out of his life, so he could start a life in a new country free from the burden of the past. All that remained of his Croatian Heritage was his name. Mutnjakovic
The decision had dire repercussions on his health. He developed a chronic disorder
that caused his guts to burn and bleed, and nearly killed him when he was 13.
It is a disease that seems to especially effect Eastern Europeans who have immigrated
to industrialized North America.
The recession in 2007 decimated Windsor and Detroit and forced him into a life of exile. He travelled around the world for six years until his health failed him again in Tasmania Australia, where he nearly died a second time. He returned to Canada and was taken in by a quebecois family to recover and rebuild. During this period he read with intrigue into ideas about medicine, trauma, and art.
He began to draw out his profound experiences. From the point he returned to Canada to the present, he created over 2000 drawings, poems, and animations.
Through years of investigating the source his illness he realized he was documenting the stages of the expansion of consciousness. He believes by harnessing the power of the imagination, by willingly entering into a vulnerable state, one can construct an image of ones self, and heal not only the wounds the individual harbours deep within the tissue of the body and mind. Also the wounds of others, and even the trauma we have inflicted upon the planet.
Dave specializes in developing art projects with "at-risk" youth, children with behavioural issues, and people overcoming medical problems. His art exhibitions in Canada have awakened awareness of social taboos including mental illness, isolation, and the complexity of trauma.
CONTACT THE ARTIST