A new exhibition, The Vader Project, opens on Saturday, February 28, 2009 at The Andy Warhol Museum
and is on view through May 3, 2009. This exhibition examines the iconic STAR WARS™ villain through the eyes of 100 international Pop Surrealist and underground contemporary artists from around the world.
100 works utilizing 1:1 scale authentic prop replicas of the Darth Vader helmet used in the STAR WARS films are included in the exhibition. Each helmet was a blank canvas for the artist to paint, design and customize. These iconic helmets of the notorious movie villain were created by some of the biggest names in today’s Pop Surrealist and underground art scenes, including Shag, Peter Kuper, Attaboy, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Dalek, Paul Sunich, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Michelle Valigura, Frank Kozik, Wade Lageose, Joe Ledbetter, Alex Pardee, Suckadelic, Cameron Tiede, Michelle Valigura, Sunich, Mister Cartoon, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell and many more. The Vader Project was curated by Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks of DKE Toys, one of the largest designer vinyl and art-toy distributors in the world. “It’s because of trailblazing artists like Andy Warhol that The Vader Project can even exist today. We couldn’t be more honored to be showcasing The Vader Project at The Warhol.” said Kelemer, who started DKE selling STAR WARS memorabilia more than 15 years ago.
In addition to The Warhol’s grouping of these iconic helmets, approximately 15 works will be on view at The Carnegie Science Center during the duration of the exhibition.
The Vader Project originally premiered at STAR WARS Celebration IV in Los Angeles in May 2007. From there, the exhibition traveled to STAR WARS Celebration Europe in London in June 2007. July 2007 brought 10 new helmets to the STAR WARS Pavilion at the famed San Diego Comi-Con International. Then in July 2008, 13 Japanese artists joined forces with the existing Vader Project when their helmets premiered at STAR WARS Celebration Japan.