The Vader Project

66 artists customize Darth Vader helmets in landmark gallery exhibition for
Star Wars Celebration IV
May 24th to 28th, 2007
Los Angeles Convention Center

May 16, 2007 (Los Angeles, CA) -- The Vader Project, a reimagining of the iconic Darth Vader helmet by some of today's hottest pop and underground artists, will have its World Premiere May 24 to 28th, 2007 at Star Wars Celebration IV, a landmark event being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. The five-day event is expected to attract more than 25,000 Star Wars fans from around the world (

The Vader Project is presented by Master Replicas Inc. and curated by Dov Kelemer of DKE Toys. Kelemer gathered 75 of the hottest underground and pop surrealist painters, artists and designers to participate. Each artist was given a Master Replicas 1:1 scale prop replica of the actual Darth Vader helmet used in the Star Wars films. Each helmet served as a blank canvas for each artist to paint, design, mash up, and customize.

Artists include Shag, Paul Frank Sunich, Mr Cartoon, Frank Kozik, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell, Tim Biskup, J. Otto Seibold, Gary Baseman, Joe Ledbetter, Jeff Soto and many more. Many of these artists jumped at the chance to lend their talents to one of the most iconic pop culture characters in film history.

Keith Bornholtz, Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Master Replicas, said, "We are pleased to provide this excellent canvas to this group of talented international artists and introduce them to their new intergalactic fans.

"This could not be a timelier event," Kelemer said. "The pop surrealist/lowbrow/graffiti/designer art scene is exploding around us. A canvas is what you make it, from bunnies to cows to toilet seats. The 'platform' group show has been around, and we have seen it all."

Ugly Doll co-creator David Horvath said it best: "It's Darth Vader!!! It's the most recognizable character in the universe. After this exhibition we don't ever need to be in a platform show again."

After the premiere at Star Wars Celebration IV the plan is for exhibition to travel to museums, galleries, and events around the world. The helmets will then be offered publicly at auction. Details will be announced later.

Master Replicas ( has created the highest quality 1:1 and scaled prop replicas for Star Wars. Using all the latest technologies and often scouring the Lucasfilm Archives, the company has released some of the finest and most sought-after movie-related collectibles. The company's licensed properties include Disney, Muppets, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and many more.

Curator Dov Kelemer, founder of DKE Toys (, is one of the largest designer vinyl and art-toy distributors in the world, exclusively representing over 50 companies, artists, and designers. Having started his business selling Star Wars memorabilia more than 15 years ago he has finally found a way to meld both his passions.