Seattle based sculptor Mike Leavitt is well known for his brand of satire in various media. Featured here on our blog, he is widely recognized for his “Art Army” series depicting other famous visual artists, musicians, actors and politicians, and just recently, made headlines for his action figure of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. This month, he debuted a new series entitled “King Kuts”, in the artist’s words, the “16 best film directors ever carved in wood”.
The series, which is on view at Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York through June 11th, consists of 16 new 1/4 scale, 18 inch tall sculptures of directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, and Tim Burton, that Leavitt carved by hand in wood. Each piece is first carved in cedar wood and polymer clay, and then finished with acrylic paint- Leavitt has posted timelapse video showing his painstaking process on his Instagram page. “If you love film and movies of any kind, you’re in luck,” posts Leavitt.
“I love movies and I love art. The magic overwhelms me. Moviemakers are consumed by their work, similar to the way my own work overtakes my life. Whether a block of wood, a scene ending or film reel edit, every cut takes conviction. Directors endure pain tending to the light of photography, the story’s tension, the limits of money and the sacrifices to their vision Trust in that vision is so powerful that they relinquish their anatomy. That’s why I sculpted their bodies physically devoured by their work.”