Daria Usova is an official artist of the Principality of Monaco. A resident of Monte Carlo, she has strong ties to Monaco, including the Princely Family. Daria’s works are exhibited internationally in museums and galleries across the USA, Europe and Asia.

Daria Usova’s artworks filter important issues through the lens of contemporary popular culture, bringing the traditions of 20th Century art in dialogue with contemporary political, cultural, and social agendas. In her works, she looks at the human impact on natural environment and at the relationship between humans, organic life and technologies. She also deals with such issues as manipulation of visual and textual narratives by mass and social media, gender disparity and gender stereotypes. Her artworks abound in cross-cultural references and allusions, which must be decoded by the viewer.

The artist consistently expresses her anxiety about the increasing cultural homogenization and the role played by the global mass media in the process. Her exploration of contemporary situation relies on Guy Debord’s perennial analysis of the «society of the spectacle». This is the definition given by the French philosopher to the inverted type of society in which commodities or their substitute images have supplanted genuine activity and relationships between people. This society is narcissistically obsessed with its own images and is characterised by passive identification with those images that dictate what people need and must have. As Debord states in the fourth thesis of his seminal book, «Society of the Spectacle», «The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images». Such social relationship is also marked by the lack of authenticity, obsession with celebrity and social hierarchies. The values of the «society of the spectacle» are steeped in consumer culture and commodity fetishism. Subsequently, this distorted worldview results in the degradation of knowledge, decline in critical thinking, and oblivion of the historical past. Most Daria’s works explore the whole range of issues associated with the «society of the spectacle», and the way it shapes one’s perceptions and values.

Born in 1986, in Kaliningrad (former Königsberg, the home to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant and his duty-based ethics), Daria is a true citizen of the world, who believes that dialogue between cultures can pave the way to a better world. She was brought up in an artistically inclined family, so she took art early in her childhood. She studied academic drawing, painting, composition and art history at a local art school. In 2008, she graduated from the Department of Art and Graphics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University. She later took an Art Appraisal and Expertise course, followed by her studies at the Contemporary Art School in Moscow. Thereafter, she worked as an assistant to the artist Andrey Bartenev.

Daria’s practice melds traditional aesthetic with contemporary awareness. Having first trained as an academic artist, she has the daring and skill to experiment with traditional and contemporary approaches to representation. In her work, she relies on the principles of Pop Art and claims to have been inspired by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg. Jeff Koons is another her favourite. His words that «the job of the artist is ...not about the object and it is not about the image; it is about the viewer. That’s where the art happens», seem to resonate with Daria’s own artistic principles.

Usova is a practitioner of her own patented collage technique, Pieces Art, which she invented in 2003 while still being an art student. She upcycles out-of-date, used and thrown-away glossy magazines, and transforms them into her own ironic artistic commentaries on contemporary situation. Since her student days, she has been collaborating as an illustrator with major glossy magazines, such as GQ, Men’s Health, Наrреr’s Ваzааr, L’Officiel and Vogue. Eventually, her meticulous collages, resembling painted images, return to where they came from – the very same glossy magazines they were made from. The cycle comes full circle. Throughout her career, she also collaborated with major luxury brands, such as MAZDA, Martini, Paul Smith, Chantal Thomas, Dolce & Gabbana.

In 2006, at the age of only 20, she exhibited her works at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, and her artworks were subsequently added to Guggenheim’s collection. For a long time, Usova lived in Switzerland. In 2012, she staged a solo show «New Sensation – Collages» in Geneva and presented her Ancient Egypt series at the Nest Gallery. The exhibition was attended by HRH the King of Egypt Fuad II, son of King Faruk I. He purchased two highlights of the Exhibition, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun, for his private collection in Switzerland. Daria’s work was also included in the «catalogue of talents» compiled by Luciano Benetton under the auspices of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche (established upon the wishes of the Benetton family to support and raise awareness of the wealth of landscape, cultural and artistic heritage). Fondazione Benetton also owns a collage by Daria.

Although she thrived in Switzerland, Usova felt challenged artistically, so she moved to Monaco and fell in love with the country. Eventually, she found that its colours, contrasts and natural beauties were inspiring and stimulating to her own art. Her arrival in Monaco resulted in the whole new Monte-Carlo landscapes series, with such highlights as Dragonfly Helicopters and Casino Roofs, reminiscent of Louis Vuitton logos and a view over Monte-Carlo Beach. Between 2015- 2016, she completed the series of collage portraits of the royal members of the House of Grimaldi: Princess Grace, Prince Rainier, Princess Caroline, Princess Stéphanie and, of course, the double portrait of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II. As soon as the work completed, Daria had the honour of personally presenting the double portrait to HSH Albert II, the Prince of Monaco, who attended her solo exhibition during the Grimaldi Forum-2017. The Prince was so much impressed with this collage portrait, that he commissioned to Daria a portrait of his children!

Working across traditional academic genres, such as portrait, Daria’s ambition was to make it more appealing to contemporary connoisseurs. Her first collage portrait was of John Lennon: it featured a torn USA flag; fragments of various Beatles album covers and images of Japanese girls. Initially, the artist relied on the reconstruction painting method, characteristic of the American artist James Rosenquist – a seminal figure in the American Pop Art, known for his monumental collage paintings, which juxtaposed fragmentary images borrowed from advertisements and mass media. This is how Usova also began incorporating elements that highlighted the most important moments in the lives of her sitters: past, present and those expected to happen in the future. This approach helps her capture the most important aspects of a person’s character. To a certain extent, her bespoke portrait commissions are her experimental laboratory. She has already created collage portraits for the British singer Brian Ferry, French designer Chantal Thomass and actor Vincent Perez. To Ferry, the artist also dedicated her other work «Slave to Love», alluding to the title of his famous hit. «I do everything possible to capture and reveal the essential core of each particular person», states the artist. «Portraits, amalgamating the inmost wishes, dreams, and plans of my sitters – I call them «motivational collages» – are, thus, helping them to achieve their goals and dreams. One may compare such method to self-induced hypnosis, a mind map or a motivational image, acting as a constant positive psychological reinforcement, – all is appropriate».

Inspired by the art of Gaugin, Daria studied local art practices whilst residing in Hawaii (2010) and Tahiti (2013). After she moved to Côte d'Azur Daria «discovered some barely discernible colour hues», which resulted in her Serenity series, inspired by the experience. Daria continued her studies of local cultures by visiting Alaska in 2016.

Actual Art (2020) explores what makes one human. She probes into the world of high tech and discusses such issues as growing threats linked to the development of AI, real life experiences replaced with virtual reality, and many other similar issues.

In her Environment series (2021), Daria tackles such issues as climate change, biodiversity loss, and critical amounts of plastic waste in the waters of world's ocean. One of her recent creations is the collage portrait of the legendary art-dealer and gallerist Jeffrey Deitch, offered by his gallery staff to the maître as homage on his birthday in 2021. She is currently working on SuperCats, the project maintaining that everyone in the virtual realm can become a superhero endowed with superpowers. Her other «work in progress» is the Portals series accompanied by immersive versions with augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D visualizations.

Daria also tackles such issues as climate change, biodiversity loss, and critical amounts of plastic waste in the waters of world's ocean in her Environment series

Daria Usova’s works are owned by major celebrities and royals, and can be found in museum and corporate art collections, such as:

Guggenheim Museum (New York), Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche (Italy), BSL Hotel Metropole Monaco, Credit Mobilier de Monaco, Société Générale Private Banking, Barclays Private, collection of the Prince Fuad of Egypt, art collection of the Prince Albert II Foundation in Monaco, the collection of Prime Minister Serge Tell, the Simon de Pury Collection, the RuArts Gallery (Moscow), the Stella Art Foundation (Moscow), the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation (Moscow), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Vinzavod Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow), the Boccara Art Gallery (New York), the Art & Emotion Gallery (Lausanne), Samhart Art Gallery (Gstaad), A.P.T. Gallery  (Hong Kong) and many other private collections around the world.

Select exhibitions include: «Art Monte-Carlo», Monaco (2019); «Seoul Art Plastic» represented by the Boccara Art Gallery, Seoul (2019); «Sense Search» at the Ekaterina Foundation, Moscow (2019). The artist also participated in numerous group exhibitions such as «ARTCURIAL» for AMREF Flying Doctors, Yacht Club, Monaco (2018); SamhАrt Gallery, Gstaad, Switzerland (2018); «NY City», Art & Emotion, Lausanne, Switzerland (2017); «Under One Sky», Lincang - Hohhot - Urumqi - Xian - Beijing, China (2016); «Faberge», Continental Art Gallery, Saint-Jean Cape Ferrat (2015); «Art of Desire», A’trego, Cap d’Ail (2014); «Imago Mundi: The Art of Humanity – Dakar» (2014; the 11th edition of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art in Dakar).

Art Fairs: «Affordable Art Fair» Hong Kong represented by the A.P.T. Gallery, Hong Kong (2018); «Art Shanghai» represented by Boccara Art Gallery (2018); «Xcontemprorary Miami» represented by Boccara Art Gallery, Miami (2016); «Art Monaco», Monaco (2015).