Dave Mutnjakovic is an Artist ~ Teacher Living and working in the Laurentides, QC Canada.
Dave’s family escaped Yugoslavia in the early 1960’s to start a life just outside Detroit in Windsor Ontario.
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 was his name.
That decision had dire repercussions on his health as he developed a chronic disorder that caused his guts to burn and bleed. Nearly killing him when I was 14. In his determination to heal he touched the node, the ultimate link between life and death. Each of his forms, images and drawings comes from the furthest extreme of pain, from the brink of madness. Born of trauma, emotion and will, they are as much a discovery as they are his odyssey.
After receiving his two BFA’s from Concordia University and completing an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design from St.Clair College, Dave moved to Vancouver where he worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery and discovered a passion for teaching children and adolescents who felt like “outsiders” artistic practices. He moved back to Montreal and took a big step furthering his career working for the not for profit organization called Collective Community Services in 2017. He spent the next year creating, developing his teaching his program in six different alternative schools where he focused his work on at-risk youth, and children with behavioural issues.
In 2018, Dave jumped at the opportunity to join the Outsider Art Movement. Outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds. His experience surviving the extremes of Illness has influenced his artwork which works to develop empathy between individuals who have suffered major trauma and humiliation in mainstream society.
Dave specializes in developing art projects with “at-risk” youth, children with behavioural issues, people overcoming medical problems . His work has been featured in the award winning Eyejack Augmented Reality Art Book tour which took his work around the world. His art exhibitions in Canada have awakened awareness of social taboos including mental illness, isolation, and the complexity of trauma.