Curators and owners of DKE Toys, Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks were looking for a way to draw attention to their fledgling toy company. Their collective brainstorming landed them into an army of 100 customized Darth Vader helmets that spanned four years of coast to coast shows and across the ocean to Europe and Japan. The Vader Project even had a stint in the Andy Warhol museum where fans waited an hour in line to gain a peek at the innovative re-interpretations of one of the best known villains in movie history.
The success of the show hinges not only on the sensational draw of its unique platform, but on the re-imagining of the image of Darth Vader at the hands of well known artists within the full spectrum of the visionary art movement. From a Statue of Liberty version to a Samurai helmet, the custom alterations comment on politics, love, popular culture and war while retaining a quirky and fun appeal suitable for adult fans and kids alike. The show reached it’s final destination Saturday July 10 at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, where the collection was finally severed and sold off to the highest bidders, where the work will gain a new context within personal collections.
As we previewed earlier, The Vader Project made it’s second to final stop last week in Los Angeles as the collection of customized Darth Vader artist-designed helmets begins to make it’s way to Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia. Many of the project’s artists were on hand to sign copies of the recently released show catalog and to say goodbye to their creations which have so far shown at the Andy Warhol Museum, the San Diego Comic Con, and at the Star Wars Celebrations in Europe and Japan. The final viewing of the works will be held in Philadelphia from July 5th to the 9th before they hit the auction block. Check out some more of our favorite helmets here on Hi-Fructose.
The internationally renowned Vader Project will be coming to a final close in a few weeks after successful showings in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Began in 2007, the Vader Project utilized 1:1 Master Replicas of the actual Darth Vader helmet used in the Star Wars films and encouraged 100 of contemporary art’s hottest artists to re-envision the Sith Lord’s iconic helmet as canvas. Artists who have participated over the last couple years include: Shag, Attaboy, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Mr. Cartoon, Buff Monster, Robbie Conal, Dalek, Bob Dob, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Huck Gee, Mike Giant, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, Mars-1, Estevan Oriol, Alex Pardee, Jeff Soto, Damon Soule, Usugrow, Amanda Visell, Gary Taxali and many, many more. All 100 helmets will be on display in Los Angeles from June 11th – 20th with the show wrapping up and heading to Freeman’s Auction House for display from July 5th to the 9th, where they’ll be made available for purchase to the general public on the 10th. The Vader Project has just released a catalog showcasing each helmet, to view some of the pieces and to check out some spreads from the book, click here.
Last night I went to see the new street art documentary “Outside In” directed by Alex Stapleton and produced at the Levi’s Film Workshop, which revolves around MOCA’s Art in The Streets exhibit in Los Angeles. The exhibit is curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Roger Gastman and is the first major museum survey of graffiti and street art in the US. It is filled with many mediums of street art: stencils, spray paint, sculptures, mixed media, photography…the list goes on. It is quite the amazing venture if you are in the area before August 8 when it closes.Full report from the film’s premier after the jump – Birdman