It was at the Five Points Festival that I spotted this amazing painting by artist Paul Fernandez-Carol that mashes up The Beatles with characters from Star Wars in a very clever way. On one hand, we could be looking at The Beatles, dressed in their colorful, highly-recognizable satin band suits from the Sgt. Pepper-album cover — Ringo in Pink, John in Yellow, Paul in Blue and George in Red — who are avoiding being recognized by wearing disguises on their heads. On the other hand, this might be the Star Wars saga characters of a Scout Trooper, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and an Imperial Stormtrooper (who are all distinguishable by the helmets they wear) posing as The Beatles. Who can say? Speaking of posing, I believe that the figures’ poses in this painting were copied from This Photo of the Fab Four taken in 1967 during a promotional photo shoot for the Sgt. Pepper album cover. You can see more art by Fernandez-Carol on his page at Seven Arts Gallery.
Hey, if you need to find a way to come out to your Mom, and she is also a Star Wars Fan, maybe you can do so via this fun poster, which I spotted on Gansevoort Street out front of the Whitney Museum. You can buy this piece, and other work by artist Denis Ouch via Artfinder at This Link.
Who says Stormtroopers don’t have bad days? Mashing up Star Wars with the Passion of Christ like nobody’s business, Ryan Callanan’s Long Suffering Trooper (2016) is resin with a copper patina finish (also available in solid copper). Available in a Limited Edition of just 25 pieces (signed/numbered by the artist) for $625 each, from TAG Fine Arts in London.
Photographed at the Affordable Art Fair NY in September, 2016.
Hey what’s up? Today we are having our first official snowfall here in NYC, and it is lovely, but mostly it makes you start pondering how are we going to get through the winter months, and still have fun, without leaving the house. If you are looking for ideas of fun outings you can take in the borough of Manhattan that involve indoor activities, and which are all pretty close to public transportation (i.e. limiting required outside time) then you should plan to head over to the Discovery Center in Times Square for the Star Wars and the Power of the Costume Exhibition, which is just outstanding.
Perhaps you are thinking that you have not seen all of the Star Wars films, and won’t have fun because you don’t know all of the specific minutia of the backstory for each character that wore a particular costume, so I am here to tell you that it does not matter. All you need is a loose grasp of the franchise and the names of a few main characters and you’ll be good to go, because there is such clear and compelling narrative that follows each display. I learned so much and was so intrigued that it made me want go back and see the films I haven’t seen yet. Even the ones everyone whines about.
Let’s get to the costumes!
The exhibit galleries are scattered with quotes like the one above, from Director George Lucas, and others who worked on the costumes, which add a new dimension of understanding to what “The Power of the Costume” means.
The Jedi Vs Sith Gallery has interactive features and also the best lighting of any gallery, which is helpful, because flash photography is not allowed.
Darth Maul, what badass.
Robe worn by adult Luke Skywalker next to child costume of the young Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader. Heavy.
The Droids have one small gallery.
The Phantom Menace costumes were inspired by the art of the Pre-Raphaelites — 19th Century English painters – who had particular visions of heroines and female beauty. The use of rich color influenced the fashions of Padme’s handmaidens and the citizens of Naboo.
The Yellow Throne Room Costume (above) included a hood, constructed to extend out and create deep shadows, used to hide the faces of the handmaidens and give them a sense of mystery. This also enabled Padme to travel in disguise as one of the group.
The elaborate costumes of the first three episodes generally serve to emphasize the point that, once The Empire falls to The Dark Side, fashion goes out the window.
Few costume designs in the history of film are as iconic as the Imperial Stormtroopers. This “Spooky White Space Armour” was inspired by designer Ralph McQuarrie’s knowledge of medieval armor.
This is a mirrored room filled with suspended Stormtrooper Helmets. Very cool and super hard to photograph!
There is a deeply fascinating backstory on the de-volution of Senator/Emperor Palpatine that accompanies several of the costumes worn by actor Ian McDiarmid.
Truth: the famous Leia Slave Bikini looks very jenky up-close. I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it was to wear (look out for Carrie Fisher’s hilarious quotes to that effect, somewhere in the display narrative).
There is no argument that actress Natalie Portman got to wear the best costumes of any character. Padme Amidala’s clothes are simply stunning.
This the costume Padme is wearing when the audience first sees that she is pregnant with Luke and Leia.
There is no question that Padme Amidala stole Darth Vader’s thunder in the costume department, but as we all know, he got the last laugh.
Geoffrey and I visited the exhibition at 6 PM on a Saturday, when attendance was sparse (read: it’s a good time to go, as the exhibit is open on Saturdays until 9:00 PM). A highlight of our time there was when we overheard one of the exhibit attendants excitedly tell another attendant that a guest was “on her knees, fully worshiping the Darth Vader Costume.” Hilarious.
The final gallery of the exhibition is dedicated the latest episode in the franchise, The Force Awakens, which I saw over the Christmas holidays, and just loved.
After having all kinds of crazy fun, it was time to Exit Through the Gift Shop and ogle the vast bounty of Star Wars swag available for purchase!
If only this shirt had come with long sleeves, they would have made an easy sale.
And for the truly lonely, Actual-Size Cardboard Character Stand Ups!
Get More Information on Star Wars and The Power of the Costume Exhibition and the Discovery Center Times Square, Including Address and Directions, Hours, and Purchase Tickets Blah Blah Blah, at This Link!
To find out more about this sculpture of Hillary Clinton in a Stormtrooper uniform, which was part of Michael Leavitt’s 2013 art exhibit, Empire Peaks, visit This Link. Hillary for the win in 2016!
File this one under “Must See Art” because you won’t want to miss Michael Leavitt’s latest exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery, entitled Empire Peaks. Continuing with the theme he did to perfection with Art Army Royalty back in 2011, Leavitt’s latest collection of what could loosely be called pop culture action figures takes a Star Wars theme and turns that wildly popular franchise’s characters into recognizable icons of history, politics and entertainment. The show is totally off the hook! Even if you’re not a total Star Wars geek (raises hand) you’re going to enjoy the high-quality representations of some very recognizable individuals, both real and fictional.
There’s not really much more to be said except that you’ve to go see this show! Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit.
The Sucklord was in attendance at the opening reception! You may know The Sucklord from his appearance on season two of Bravo’s Work of Art, or from his line of unlicensed Star Wars parody toys, marketed under the name Suckadelic. He was pretty cool to talk to.
You can tell even from these photographs that the detail is absolutely impeccable on all of these figures. Not only does each figure look exactly like its real-life counterpart, but Leavitt perfectly captures the essence of each Star Wars character in the melding of the two individual identities. High-fives all around on this one.
Michael Leavitt’s Empire Peaks will be on Exhibit Through December 21st, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, NYC, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
I pulled this image off a website where all the text is in French. But you don’t have to understand French to know this is a photo of four Stormtrooper finger nails and their buddy Darth Vader Nail hanging out on the Ring Finger. Rad.