Artist Hoang Tran creates your favorite pop-culture characters, from The Simpson’s to the Ninja Turtles, all out of wax…but not just any wax. Tran carves each character from a jumbo-sized crayon! That’s right, each intricately and meticulously detailed character is carved from your everyday Crayola crayon…the same crayons that you used to make your own “masterpiece” with at age three. Each pop-culture icon is carved from the color in which it dominantly possesses, but also has hints of other colors that make up the finishing touches of the character. To do this, Tran melts different colored waxes, or crayons, and then applies the melted pigment onto the finest details of his creations. The amazing detail speaks wonders about the talent and patience the artist must have in order to master such a painstaking craft.
What is so wonderful about this artist’s crayon creatures is that only half of the wax is carved. The other side of the crayon is left intact, Crayola wrapper and all! Tran creates all sorts of characters such as Batman, Gizmo, Spongebob and Cookie Monster. He even carves out real life people such as Conan O’Brian. This series, appropriately titled Wax Nostalgic, is chalk full of infamous characters. It is a nostalgic dream. If you are a Star Wars fan, Tran has transformed a crayon into every character from this classic film from Hans Solo to Princess Leia. This impressive little treasures can be found on Hoang Tran’s website, or his Etsy site, where you can have get crayon characters for yourself. (via Inkult Magazine)
Chewbacca is a Wookiee. Bipedal and furry, a “big walking carpets,” Star Wars Wookiees run and fight and shoot. In Mako Miyamoto’s photo series, found on his website Neon Werewolf, Wookiees do much more: yoga on the lawn, roller skate in knee socks and satin jacket, swim underwater, water the lawn. In fact, Miyamoto’s Wookiees could be your next-door neighbor…in a furry mask.
“Masks have always intrigued me; being born near Halloween may have had something to do with it. I’ve always been fascinated by how they hide the person behind them while at the same time bring forth pieces of [their selves] that at first glance were shadowed by their expressions.” (Source)
This whimsical series alternates between mash-ups of TV Shows and movies (Star Wars and The Heist; Star Wars and Game of Thrones) and everyday scenes with a twist (salad bar and Wookiee, ping pong and Wookiees, wedding day and Wookiees). Funny and slightly alarming, the masks’ staring eyes, fixed grimaces, and cascades of fur make the scenes bizarre mimicries of life. Each image is individually titled, and they include “Kiss My Ace II”, “Stop Blocking my Fist with your Face”, and “Corndog Airplane.” The series is ongoing—idea after idea, Wookiee after Wookiee. Miyamoto says:
“I get my inspiration from all over; thrift stores, books, movies, open spaces, the coast, clouds, Stanley Kubrick, Portland, John Carpenter, the golden hour, the way that reflections create an unreachable reality, things that are orange, and the ocean. But not necessarily in that order.” (Source) (Via Feature Shoot)
Star Wars is a popular franchise that spans decades, so it’s no surprise that it has crept up in many artists’ work. We’ve seen it in paintings, expressed through Legos, and it’s even influenced engagement rings. Clearly, the fictional story has resonated with many. Cedric Delsaux can also count himself as someone who finds inspiration from Darth Vader, droids, and the vehicles made famous in the films. He’s expertly inserted Star Wars characters into desolate urban areas that look abandoned and dismantled. The results are images both poignant and haunting; and, given what we know about the characters, Delsaux sets the scenes for alluring narratives that are like a suspenseful novel. Something is going to happen, but we aren’t sure what.
His bleak and stylish works have caught the attention of many, including George Lucas himself:
Over the years, many artists have interpreted Star Wars in ways that extend well beyond anything we saw in the films. One of the most unique and intriguing interpretations that I have seen is in the work of Cedric Delsaux, who has cleverly integrated Star Wars characters and vehicles into stark urban, industrial – but unmistakably earthbound – environments. As novel and disruptive as his images are, they are also completely plausible.
If traditional engagement rings aren’t really your thing, Pittsburg based jewelry designer Paul Michael Bierker has some unique designs that might just float your boat. As the jeweler to science fiction buffs everywhere, he creates custom-made pieces inspired by everything from the Star Wars franchise to Marvel comic books. Bierker has built for himself quite the fan base of young, eager clients, and he is proud to have worked with several US troops over seas in Afghanistan towards creating one-of-a-kind engagement bands.
Popular designs include an R2D2 -inspired engagement ring and a band featuring a diamond encrusted TARDIS from popular television show Doctor Who. Though evocative of these pop culture treasures, Bierker’s collection maintains an elegant subtlety. Rings modeled after the TIE fighter or the X-wing shed the unwieldy bulk of the star ships in favor of clean, sophisticated lines. The X-wing ring becomes a delicate ornament, its bands stylishly crisscrossing in the center the finger. Bierker’s tender references to geek culture meld effortlessly with the maturity of his craftsmanship, appealing both to playful and refined clients.
Bierker occupies a groundbreaking space in a one of our countries biggest industries, subverting elitist limitations on what and what does not constitute an engagement ring. This symbol of lifelong commitment should be as individual and the couple who wears it, and amid the mass of conformity, it’s nice to see something new. As we move into the adult responsibilities of marriage, we hope to carry with us each of our childhood pleasures, and Bierker’s original work certainly reminds us that marriage should be as much of an adventure as a trip into space. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)
Zahir Batin’s delightful series of photographs is sure to get you excited for the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode VII. When the artist bought a Canon EOS 1000D in February 2012, he had no idea that he would discover a passion for shooting miniature Star Wars scenes, but sure enough, he has since created a whimsical body of work cataloging the misadventures of Jedi, Sith lords, clones, and droids.
Batin’s work is certainly humorous, serving to decontextualize the often fearsome characters. A pack of clones is shown to be comically miniature beside a group of adorable ducklings; one even kindly offers a leaf to the giant baby animals. During their time off, they play with their vehicles like a group of rowdy teenage boys. For a more relaxing evening, they unwind riverside and confide in one another in a language inaudible to human viewers.
Despite the comic conceit of the miniature work—and perhaps even because of it—Batin imbues his imagined scenes with a poignant humanity and deeply-feeling heart. After a day of play, the clones lose a companion, and their heads move toward the sky in despair. After digging a grave, they place the fallen man’s tiny helmet above the moistened dirt and position a carefully-crafted gravestone at the head. In a moment of grief, they press their armored bodies together and embrace. Through Batin’s emotive lens, these small action figures, normally beloved only by children, become sentient beings with whom we can relate and empathize. Take a look. (via KoiKoiKoi)
The Star Wars Millenium Falcon doesn’t exist in real life, but you’d never know it by looking at Finnish artist Vesa Lehtimäki (aka Avanaut)’s photographs. In his work, you can spot a Y-Fighter parked among trees, a clear view of ships in outer space, and action shots of some of your favorite characters . Lehtimäki borrowed his son’s toys to photograph and later Photoshop them into their own believably unbelievable situations. They look so life-like you’d think that these small objects are actually a 1:1 reproduction.
The artist has been a life-long fan of the Star Wars franchise. In an interview with Wired, he talks recalls the impact it had on him. “Two of the great moments of my childhood were the first two original Star Wars movies,” says Lehtimäki. “As a kid I wanted to become a movie director. I made some Super 8 movies but it did not work out that well.” He’s an illustrator and designer, and sees these photographs as a way to explore an unfulfilled career path. (Via Gizmodo)
It’s really easy to hate on Thomas Kinkade. His landscape paintings, which boasts themselves as “paintings of light,” are dull, wooden, and nearly all the same. Wholly uninteresting, Kinkade’s paintings beg to have a little pizzaz added to them. Luckily, artist Jeff Bennett has solved this problem. He’s added the Star Wars Imperial Forces to Kinkade’s work. Storm Troopers, Star Destroyers, and more invade the candle-lit houses, babbling brooks, and flower gardens. Houses are set on fire and landscaping is trampled. And, throughout it all, you are cheering for the historically “bad guys.”
Bennett’s keen Photoshop skills allow him to seamlessly integrate the two worlds, making them believable and thus very entertaining. In a way, this series mimics the typical good vs. evil story. The exception is that who we perceive as good and evil is turned on its head. You’d think that tranquil Thomas Kinkade paintings would be harmless. But think again. Kinkade, with his lowest common denominator work, overpriced and mass produced chachkies, and greed (in 2006, his company was convicted of defrauding two Virginia gallery owners), is really the bad guy in this scenario. The Imperial Forces are helping destroy banality. (Via Adweek).
Fill your nerd quota for the day and check out this piece of lego sculpture made by Paul Vermeesch. It’s a diorama reproduction of M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” using Star Wars legos. It’s lit from the inside and even includes a faithful depiction of the plot from the much loved film series. Nice work, Paul!