Mashup Portrait of Steve Jobs + Ayn Rand Fetches $210,000


Steve Jobs_Datuna_Scope Miami_ 2

Artist David Datuna created a striking portrait of Steve Jobs titled “Viewpoint of Millions.” Shown at the recent international art fair Scope Miami, it became one of the most expensive art pieces sold at the fair, fetching $210,000.

It was created from a background pattern of thousands of miniature images of author/philosopher Ayn Rand; the large format iconic portrait rests under a wall of optical lenses made from nearly 80,000 parts.

Moved by Steve Jobs’ recent passing, Datuna chose Ayn Rand as the “driving component of the portrait,” since her work is believed to have inspired the late Apple co-founder.

“Despite armies of loyal fans around the globe, many consider Jobs and his ‘empire’ an embodiment of corporate evil that has befallen the modern society,” Datuna said in a statement.  “Such polarity of viewpoints is conveyed through the combined use of positive and negative optical lenses. The artist avoids casting judgment on Steve Jobs and his personality. By only using the penetrating gaze of the subject of his artwork, Datuna tries to get to the very soul of Steve Jobs and reveal his motivations in life. ”

When I spotted the work last week on Kristen Philipkoski‘s blog, Stylenik, my first impression was: you kinda had to be there.

In person, it’s easy to see how both the miniscule portraits of Rand comprising Jobs and the overall effect with the glass lenses over the top could be thought provoking. From the glare-challenged screen of my MacBook Pro, not so much.

“Viewpoint of Millions” also outsold Datuna’s other recent mashup piece “Putin – Mona Lisa” by $10,000.

From the fan-designed homage in Post-it notes to the creepy bronze statue being cast in Budapest, there are a ton of portraits of Jobs speaking to the impact of his recent death.

Which ones do you think he would have appreciated?

Via Miranova Gallery

  • Allan Robertson

    Huh, yea I don’t like her much.

  • prof_peabody

    Wow, you couldn’t pick a philosopher that was more diametrically opposed to everything Steve Jobs stood for than Ayn Rand.

  • Matt Caci

    That’s what I thought too. And all they have is some random quote from Woz to back it up? In all the interviews he’s done and even in his biography there’s no mention of Ayn Rand.

  • speedmaster


  • Jackson Myers

    My thoughts exactly.

  • twitter-119563679

    I agree. Outside of the Woz quote there is nothing to indicate that Ayn Rand was an influence on Steve Jobs.

    I hope the person who bought this work has money to burn. In the future I imagine this piece will be worthless.

  • Peter Mesyk

    Wasting money is an Apple thing though.

  • Steve Pender

    You’re probably right. Steve Wozniak was probably lying. We should take your word on it over his. Ayn Rand believed in free markets, in the freedom of everyone to transact with nobody in between. Steve Jobs seems to have agreed with that fundamental, and scattered in his speeches were references to the government being a monopoly, which is a high-level concept generally not understood by people outside of Libertarian/Anarchist philosophy. Bottom line though, Steve Jobs was his own person and lived by what he valued… the very epitome of what Ayn Rand idealized, so I think it’s more likely that you don’t understand Ayn Rand than that Steve Jobs’ beliefs were opposed to her ideal of every person living their own life as they want.

  • Moog

    Alan Greenspan was inspired by Ayn Rand – Failure.  Steve Jobs clearly gives his inspirations within his book and did NOT include her- Winner.

  • thinkpinkink

    I suppose Ayn Rand must be considered an author, because books were written. But “philosopher” seems unnecessarily high praise for this hack of a writer.  There’s more philosophy in Winnie the Pooh than in this one-dimensional writer’s work.  I hope Steve Jobs had more depth to his life and imagination than to be “inspired” by such feeble ideas…  You want libertarian philosophy, go read Robert Nozick or someone else with a little more depth.

  • Roger Mercer

    Are you kidding? Apple under Jobs was the biggest tightwad in the business. They even spent way less on research and development than any of the other tech majors by far.

  • freerange

    Cult of Mac – you miserable a-holes! Get rid of the totally annoying floating ads on your mobile site. What kind of moron would allow such a fk’ng POS ad on their site?

  • prof_peabody

    Steve Wozniak is smart but often mistaken and has a bad memory.  Ayn Rand was a cold-hearted fascist who believed in screwing everyone over except oneself to get ahead in life.  

    This is the opposite of Steve Jobs’ personal philosophy whether you believe it or not. 

    No doubt Wozniak is poorly remembering a youthful dalliance with her works by Jobs.  There are lots of young men who find that sort of philosophy attractive.  

    Then they grow up.  

  • jwbales

    Ayn Rand taught that it is wrong to violate the rights of others, a view which Prof. Peabody characterizes as “screwing everyone over except oneself to get ahead in life.” She taught that governments exist primarily to protect the rights of its citizens, a political philosophy which Prof. Peabody calls “fascist.” I don’t know where “Prof” Peabody got his degree, but he should return it.

  • PK

    I 100% agree. My first impression, when I saw this story, was “What an insult to the memory of Steve Jobs.” Ayn Rand is the “philosophy” behind the modern day neo-con movement. Steve, a neo-con? Please.

  • KaelVarnson

    “Prof” Peabody, you’re kidding, right? Do you know what fascism is?

    Rand championed individual rights, not collectivism.

  • KaelVarnson

    Um, the Ayn Rand Institute president just wrote a book called Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, in which he completely TRASHES neoconservatism. Rand was NOT a neocon. Do your homework first.

  • KaelVarnson

    Rand was an Objectivist not a libertarian. Learn the difference.

    Try reading Intro to Objectivist Epistemology and THEN tell us she’s not deep.

  • Steve Pender

    You’re right, but I think he meant it from a customer standpoint, that their products are expensive, i.e. wasteful costs.

  • Steve Pender

    It may be arguable whether Steve was a fan (closet or not) of Ayn Rand, but it’s no doubt that Ayn Rand would have admired him. This quote seems to fit:

    “Observe the intensity, the austere, the unsmiling seriousness with which an infant watches the world around him. If you ever find, in an adult, that degree of seriousness about reality, you will have found a great man.”
    -Ayn Rand

  • Dan Rohr

    This is a pretty cleaver piece; the parts that make up the greater product. Everyone should hear Jobs’ Stanford commencement and Rand’s The Money-Making Personality.