Daniela Luna was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is currently based in Miami. She has been a part of the art world since 2005, as a gallery owner, art dealer, curator, artist, and cultural promoter, as well as an entrepreneur, writer and a diversity of other roles, usually erasing the boundaries between them.
Creator and owner of the mythical contemporary art gallery APPETITE, the venue and underground club WARCLUB, the themed gallery TANTO DESEO, L.E.A.D. Miami, and many other projects. She has curated hundreds of exhibitions, in her own galleries and for other galleries and art venues around the world.
In 2008 APPETITE became the first gallery from Argentina to be invited to the Frieze Art Fair in London, and the APPETITE booth was one of the most talked about in that year’s international press.
Her work in general has been featured by media like The New York Times, CNN, Time Out Magazine, Rolling Stone, Nylon Magazine, Black Book New York, ArtSlant, Miami New Times, and many international press, as well as amply followed by the local media.
As an artist, she works in a variety of media including installation, painting, sculpture, video, and performance. Most of her work includes relational aesthetics and performatic elements.
THE STORY TOLD BY OTHERS
“Daniela Luna is an artist that generates systems. Articulates groups, strengths, physical and mental energies, and conducts them to a concretion. From getting a space, to understanding the potential of having it destroyed.” Martin Legon, artist.
“In a world in which the most celebrated references of this first decade are already history, it becomes necessary to revise a peculiar trajectory such as APPETITE gallery, in all its brilliant, polemic and flamboyant edges. A meteoric rise, the consequent excessive over expansion – multiple ventures in Buenos Aires, New York, London – and finally, an explosion that led to the dismissal of a substantial part of its staff : the risky and vertiginous bet by Daniela Luna, counter to the cautious times that punctuate our institutions, is as unprecedented as it is singular in our environment.”
La Nacion newspaper 2008, by Rafael Cippollini (translated from Spanish)
Any discussion of contemporary art in Buenos Aires would be incomplete without the mention of local legend Daniela Luna and her gallery, Appetite.
Started in 2005 with the focus of uniting a more freewheeling underground art world with the commercially successful approach of “professional” galleries, Appetite offers space for both established international artists and aspiring up-and-comers. Whether the talent is big-name or no-name, Luna plays a key role in working with artists to develop their style. While Appetite has gone from a small space in San Telmo to some of the world’s biggest art fairs, including Frieze Art Fair in London, Daniela Luna has branched out from Buenos Aires. She recently opened an Appetite in Brooklyn and has been busy showing artists’ works in Lithuania, Miami, and Milan, with plans to expand to China. We caught up with her fresh off of the opening of Appetite’s latest group show to find out more about the gallery’s beginnings and her truly fierce work ethic.
ArtSlant, 2009, by Whitney Weiss
The New York Times, 2008 by Denny Lee
“Daniela Luna, a punk style starlet, is herself a walking art statement, and seems to thrive on the hype she creates. Her bold moves are amply covered by the mainstream press.”
Time Out, 2009 by Martin Gambarotta
Buenos Aires gallery owner Daniela Luna is just as likely to be caught reading The Harvard Business Review as she is to be seen dancing on a pole at six in the morning. She’s the outspoken mastermind behind Appetite.
“Industry Insiders: Daniela Luna, International Party Leader”
Black Book New York, 2009 By Whitney Weiss
“At the annual Frieze art fair in London, Argentinean gallery Appetite, literally blended their art with the credit crunch. The artists and gallery owner Daniela Luna ate remnants of visitors’ food and slept only when a visitor was kind enough to offer them a roof.”
CNN, 2008 By Anouk Lorie
(The no-princess of argentinian contemporary art is such an important character that is becoming an icon for her generation.)
DMag (Argentina), 2008 by Lucrecia Leguizamon
Regia Magazine – Cover + editorial
I approach most of my work as an experiment, knowing that an experiment is real when it can go wrong. As a result, I think most of it goes wrong, and I try to embrace mistakes as a meaningful part of life. I allow myself to take risks, to be uncomfortable, and I think my work reflects that.
I’m trying to understand life, humanity, and myself. The human condition. This is a very vast topic, I know. The more I venture into studying it, the further I feel I am from understanding it. But it has been driving most of my decisions since long before working with art. It has taken me to venture into philosophy (western and then eastern), religions, meditation. Experiencing and questioning a lot of fundamental issues, like sexuality, identity, ego, linguistics, subliminal programming, consumption habits, economy, power, public life, etc.
My experiments of these and other issues, manifest through a variety of medium. It can be relational work, where I articulate the relationship of ideas with people or systems. It can be installations, sculpture or any spatial work. It can be any kind of graphic art (painting, drawing, collage, photography, etc). It can be in performance, writings, video, events, parties, etc. The concepts and concerns dictate the medium to use, and even if it should be contained in the realms of art, or completely outside of it. The point for me is to get to the depths of truth, and since we never can really understand anything, that search is endless.
Creating spaces, like APPETITE and my other venues, generating a public figure to go along with them, and eventually destroying it all and disappearing from the scene (moving to China), were ways in which I could challenge and disrupt a lot of the status quo, the paradigms of the art scene. APPETITE was my way of doing politics, my way to impact the world around me. I wanted to challenge the gallery format, while using it. The art market while promoting it. Learning along the way what it really was all about. I always felt that there’s only so much that I can say or do as an outsider. As an outsider, why would I even have the right to talk? So I immerse myself in the topics I’m questioning. Conquering my fears by venturing into them. I allow myself to be a vehicle for what I discover and to be whatever I need to be, with the hopes of breaking through any of the walls that seem to separate humans from one another.
Some Artist selected exhibitions:
2006: “Love Me Games” Alliance Français, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2008: “Because I want you” APPETITE/TANTO DESEO – Buenos Aires, Argentina
2009: “Geopolitical Fairies” Vilnius Graphic Art Center, Lithuania
2010: “Secrets for a Happy Life” Oasis Clubhouse – Buenos Aires, Argentina
2011: “There are things that I can’t say to anybody” Where Where Gallery – Beijing, China
2005: “Curriculum Cero” Ruth Benzacar annual new artists contest (won 2nd prize)
2007: CCEBA (Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires) Argentina, Buenos Aires
2007: APPETITE Gallery at Pinta Art Fair, New York
2008: APPETITE Gallery at Frieze Art Fair, London
2008: Pure Evil Gallery, London
2009: Art Vilnius, Lithuania
2009: Marta Traba Gallery, Latin America Memorial – Sao Paulo, Brazil
2010: “Destructivos” curated by Carlos Herrera at centro cultural Borges – Buenos Aires, Argentina
2011: “Do it Fast Wrong” 798 APPETITE space – Beijing, China
2015: “The Meaning Machine” Dot Fiftyone Gallery – USA, Miami