“Art at its truest and its best form has the tremendous power to build bridges between ideas, bridges between disciplines, between cultures, between you and me, between us and them. Bridges are at the core of social entrepreneurs as well and I really strive to build those bridges with my art” - Drue Kataoka
There’s an art revolution going on in Silicon Valley, and Drue Kataoka is right at the heart of it. One of the leading lights in the virtual reality art movement, Drue brings art and technology together to create interactive pieces that deliver a powerful social message.
We’re honored to have this multi talented artist and activist as one of our Maakola ambassadors.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s 90th birthday celebrations, Stanford University
A graduate of Stanford University, Drue founded her first studio as a tech startup. She returned to Stanford in 2019 to play the flute (yes, she’s a talented musician too) and deliver remarks at Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s 90th birthday celebrations. She wore the Yaa Asantewaa gown for the occasion.
This signature work was created to invite reflection on the urgency of the UN Sustainable Development Goals set for the year 2030. Named after the food of the gods in Greek mythology, Ambrosia 2030 is a series of reflective, labyrinthine sculptures that magically transform the viewer and the environment around them.
A virtual reality pioneer
Drue is at the forefront of virtual reality art, creating artworks that have been exhibited in the LACMA curated exhibit for LA Art Show, and internationally from Silicon Valley to Singapore to St. Petersburg. A champion of this new medium, she has spoken about VR/AR in locations as diverse as SVVR, Facebook, Davos and Abu Dhabi. She is also Artist in Residence for Google VR (Tilt Brush).
Art for the space age
Creating work in the material world as well as in the virtual realm, Drue’s art transcends boundaries. So it was entirely appropriate for her to create an artwork, Up!, that featured in the first zero gravity art exhibit in the International Space Station. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity informs this work, which was split into two pieces: one on Earth and one in space. This made the space station piece a fraction of a second younger.
A passionate activist for women, girls and social justice
Drue’s work does not just bring the worlds of science and art together; it has a social impact too. Her artwork 400,000 Is Not a Number was created to raise awareness of Test400k, which campaigns to eliminate the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the US. The digital tapestry Touch Me drew attention to infant mortality. Drue also created a portrait of the murdered British MP and humanitarian Jo Cox, which quickly became a symbol of the #LoveLikeJo movement.