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Own a Piece of Unique Star Wars Art at the Vader Project Auction this Weekend

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Last night I headed over to Freeman’s auction house in Philadelphia to take a look at the incredible Darth Vader helmets from the Vader Project. What is the Vader Project you ask? Well, 100 plain Darth Vader helmets were given out to 100 artists to do with as they pleased. They could alter them, paint them, sculpt around them, whatever their little artsy hearts desired.

Some of the artists included in the project were Shag, Peter Kuper, Gary Baseman, BXH, Dalek, Paul Frank, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Michelle Valigura, Bill McMullen, Secret Base, Joe Ledbetter, Alex Pardee, Suckadelic, Mister Cartoon, Marc Ecko, and Amanda Visell.

After touring the country for a while, the Vader Project helmets are now here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, set to be auctioned off tomorrow, July 10, 2010. They are expected to fetch anywhere from $3,000 – $15,000 each. You don’t have to be local to get in on the auction either. Online bidding is available via Freeman’s website.

But here’s the thing: the photos on the website don’t even come close to doing these helmets justice. Before I walked in, I had poured through the online gallery and had some that really stood out to me as “OMG I would so buy that if I had $5,000” favorites. However, after getting a chance to see the helmets in person, I’ve concluded that some of the most detailed and awe inspiring helmets were ones I just glossed over before.

For example, take Marc Ecko’s helmet, called “Darth from Above,” which has a pinup girl wearing a stormtrooper helmet painted on the side. It was something that didn’t really catch my eye in the catalog, but I was instantly drawn to it in person. Another new favorite of mine is Gris Grimly’s “Villians” helmet, which had various baddies from the Star Wars franchise painted all across the back and sides. It was subtle in the catalog photos, but just jaw dropping in person.  And finally, I have to mention Cameron Tiede’s “Darth Invaded” piece, which featured a brightly painted helmet filled with cartoon versions of the Star Wars franchise’s most memorable characters. Photos of these helmets and more are below.

Whereas most anyone can pick up a Star Wars prop off eBay or at a convention these days, the Vader Project helmets give fans an opportunity to own a piece of art that is completely unique, but still iconicly Star Wars (doesn’t get any more icon than Vader’s helmet, in my humble opinion).

The Vader Project auction begins at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 10, at Freeman’s auction house in Philadelphia. Please visit Freeman’s website for details, or call 215-563-9275.

Photos from Freeman’s Vader Project gallery:

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