Darth Vader's $15,000 helmet strikes back in Philadelphia

One-hundred Darth Vader helmets which have been re-imagined by some of today's best known underground artists will be unveiled at Freeman's Los Angeles Auction Preview in California from June 12-20, before their sale at Freemans' Auctioneers in Philadelphia on July 10.

The Vader Project was set up by Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks of DKE toys. The concept is simple: 100 of the best underground artists and designers working today were given a scale Darth Vader helmet to customize as they saw fit.

"From a simple idea in 2005 to a record-setting exhibition in 2009, it's time for our child to venture forth into the world," Kelemer and Marks said. "We are pleased to have partnered with Freeman's to make these fine pieces of art available to the public for the first time."

FRANK KOZIK, (B. 1962), Rust Vader (Estimated at $10,000-15,000)

Some of the notable artists involved with the project include: Shag, Peter Kuper, Jermaine Rogers, Gary Baseman, BXH, Tim Biskup, The Pizz, Dalek, Paul Frank, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Michelle Valigura, Frank Kozik, Plasticgod and Simone Legno.

The helmets are valued from between US$3000 and US$15,000.

"The result is astounding" said Simeon Lipman Pop Culture Specialist at Freemans.

"The sale will give members of the public the chance to purchase unique artworks made from these iconic symbols of the movie industry, by a number of well known artists including Shag, Marc Ecko, Tim Biskup, Frank Kozik and many more."

Clockwise from left: TROY ALDERS (B. 1965), Peace Vader; A. AUSGANG,
(B. 1959), Darth Vader is Gay; MORI KATSURA REALXHEAD, (B. 1974),
Work Vader; PETER KUPER, (B. 1958), Spy Vader Spy. All are estimated
at $3,000-5,000

Since it's conception in 2007, The Vader Project has been displayed at various Star Wars conventions and Museums around the world. The Vader Project originally premiered in May 2007 at the Star Wars TM Celebration IV in Los Angeles.

From there, it travelled all over the world to Europe in July 2007 and Japan in July 2008.

Most recently it was on display from February 13-May 3, 2009, at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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