dEmo’s artful touches on a Mario Testino photograph

By Janet Alexander–

Admittedly, not until a 15 foot tall rendition of Michelangelo’s David showed up on Ninth Avenue and 14th Street in the Meatpacking District this past summer had we heard of the Spanish sculpture artist known as dEmo. Over the past decade he’s become famous across Europe with a slew of public art instillations, which include multi-colored bears in Austria, enormous floating rubber ducks in Rome’s Fountain of Neptune, and giant golden cocks in Paris.

dEmo and Luca Missoni’s David Statue

Donning a custom-made, polyester suit of Missoni’s signature multi-colored zig-zag pattern, the statue demonstrates an intersection between fashion and art that dEmo can’t seem to get enough of. He explains how his interest of mixing the two started last year when he met Peruvian fashion photographer, Mario Testino through a mutual friend. Both were long-time admirers of each other’s work, so a project between the two developed quickly and unexpectedly. Testino gave dEmo a photograph and asked that he draw-on clothing. The resulting image is now making its public debut, never having yet been published anywhere.

dEmo and Mario Testino

dEmo described how working with Testino is always, “easy going, fun, and a crazy time.” The two have plans to meet again, so Testino can hand-off more images for dEmo to leave his mark on. dEmo’s playful caricature of high-fashion is in keeping with a general theme that characterizes all of his work, “to seduce the audience with humor, without losing sight that the art is a question and an engine of thought.” dEmo is already on his way to Miami where the statue is set to stand next.