Darth Vader gets a makeover


I was informed that for the next four days our fair city has been renamed “Mos Angeles”, and there’s probably no better example of a Star Wars/Los Angeles mashup than the Vader Project art exhibit debuting at Celebration IV.

Some of the most influential underground artists were sent Darth Vader helmets and invited to use them as a canvas however they saw fit. The result is an oddly inspiring gallery that includes self-referential tributes to the trilogy, abstract interpretations, and a number of anti-war statements. By their very nature, all have a sense of humor.

Participating artists include Gary Baseman, Buff Monster, Mister Cartoon, Marc Ecko, Paul Frank, and Shag.

After this weekend, the exhibit will tour around the world, and eventually be put up for auction (details pending).

After the jump, a few of my favorites, or click here to see my full set of pics

16 thoughts on “Darth Vader gets a makeover”

  1. That spiky one is pretty cool. Too bad not even Darth Vader can escape anti-war propaganda though.

  2. are you realy surprised that Vader is used in “anti-war” propaganda?
    He is the icon of a conservative government that led it’s people into war under questionable circumstances. People voted away there freedoms and gave the government “emergency powers”. A government that later justifide detainments and tourture.
    Star Wars isn’t just “Myth and Magic” It’s also politics for dummies.
    The movies are full of it. Anikin/Vader in episode 3 even quotes George Bush.
    Some of the greatest art in history has come from pro, and anti war propaganda.
    This dosen’t mean you can’t still love the movies and charactors, and it dosen’t mean they can’t be used as an excape from the real world.

  3. Forget Vader, who’s the cute chick the photographer was following around? More of her.

  4. I am so sick of all the anti-war crap…its Star Wars for crying out loud…can we not just simply let it be a fun science fiction movie without having to read between the lines to find a deeper meaning in everything. I for one will be so happy when the 2008 election is over. That way we can be done with all the anti Bush stuff and give the Democrats the chance to screw things up….I mean fix the worlds problems.

  5. Leave it up you conservative pinheads to turn this discussion into a pro-bush (note that I go out of my way to use a small “b” — this is absolute proof that I hate America, hate the troops and want the terrorists to win, like all liberal democrats) rant board. I had no intention of bringing up politics or of mentioning it here, but you guys had to go and do it.

    Yup, there’s a Darth Vader helmet with a peace symbol on it — it must be those Osama-loving democrat traitors trying to destroy America yet again.

    Does it occur to you that the “peace” Vader might possibly be a work of ironic art, taking a very warlike image and fitting it with a contrasting “peacenik” image, incorporating iconic symbols from the sixties anti-war movement for humorous or striking effect, rather than another vicious, unfair attack on your precious president by the evil democrats? Is the notion of irony in art totally alien to you? Is it just vaguely, distantly possible that the “peace” helmet has NOTHING to do with “dubya” and Iraq? Has that entered your thimble-sized neoconservative, Condi Rice worshipping, Dick Cheney loving brains? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, this ISN’T democratic “propaganda” but an actual PIECE OF ART and that the artist is actually attempting to be clever and ironic?

    God forbid. It must be the America haters attacking us poor, defenseless republicans yet again…

    Are you so very, very sensitive and aware of what a pathetic failure of a president “w” has become that any mention of “peace” or anti-war sentiment amounts to “anti-war crap” that is actually criticism of george w and his idiotic war?

    You are pathetic. Just like w. Utterly pathetic. Enjoy your hero’s last 18 months in office, guys. To quote Michael the conservative genius above — “I for one will be happy when the 2008 election is over.” Then the stench of Bush, Cheney and his failed, short-sighted, neoconservative will be gone, and we will never, ever, have to put up with another member of the Bush dynasty in a position of authority in this country.

    And oh yeah — flame away, neocons. I won’t be back to this board to read it. You’ve pretty much ruined this article for me. You can consider yourselves heroes of the neocon movement because you utterly disgusted another troop-hating liberal democrat who wants America to lose and hates freedom.

    And everyone else can go back to talking about Star Wars and stop polluting these boards with neocon verbal diarrhea.

  6. Why does everything have to be Red/Blue, Republican/Democrat? Can’t it just be about someone making some cool stuff from a Darth Vader helmet? Has America become so Hyper-political, that everything has to be drawn out this way. I am a Republican, and I think the president has done some good things, and some bad things. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER PRESIDENT! And whether you like him or not, respect him or not, you should show him the respect of the office. I find it personally offensive when the President’s name is not capitalized. He is due that respect no matter your feelings.

    Personally, I wish people would focus on the mythological origins of the movies, they are infinitely more interesting.

  7. This reminds me of all those city art projects where several copies of a statue, usally an aminal that reprecents the town, are decorated by different artists. I believe it started with cows in Stockholm.

  8. Everything is always already about politics. Get used to it.

    Star Wars, for example, is a high-fantasy re-telling of how America likes to characterize its own creation. Think about: brave group of rebels “takes back” the galaxy after an evil Empire (whose generals all have English accents) stamps out democracy. It’s the history of the world, just cutting ou the annoying bits between Ancient Rome and the American Revolution.

    The fact is that politics creeps into everything we do. You can either bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not there, or you can get better and noticing it and deciding if you agree.

  9. Actually, plenty of non-evil people have British accents in the movies: OBI-WAN (who was at least somewhat significant), Leia (not a great accent, but an attempt), the lady in white who talks about the Death Star and the bunker in Jedi, some of the pilots…

    I always took it to mean that the guys with British accents were from more advanced planets (hence Leia having one) and people from backwater planets have American accents (Luke).

  10. wonderful artwork, the skull face grafted to the vader helmet is cool. also the textures on the liberty vader are very well done. i wonder how many spikes are on that other helmet, and how much that cost…

    politics aside, my brother was killed in the war, he died four hours after being hit with schrapnel from an IED. not supporting our own troops while they are dying is the single worst thing i can think of.

  11. There is one thing much worse…leaving them there to die, for no fucking reason whatsoever.

  12. Has anyone ever heard the term “Escapist Entertainment”? That what some movies are. Movies like Star Wars.

    Let’s take those who wish to talk about modern day politics here to the Mighty Sarlaac.

    Cool hemets though. The chick was cool too.

  13. The fact is, the art has moved and changed you in some way. And that’s all art has on its “agenda.”

    Quite effective.

  14. Since when did peace become “anti-war?” Anyone who uses the term “anti-war” has been successfully brainwashed into turning peace into the negative side of the equation and thus war becomes the positive.
    And can’t anybody here spell a single sentence correctly?

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