There are certain parts of culture that are so iconic that you automatically know what they are by just a glance.
They’ve become symbols of our culture that even small children recognize.
An anatomically perfect statue in white marble? You know that’s a Greek statue.
A black, dome-shaped helmet with some ominous breathing noises? Well, that’s Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise, of course.
Both very different, but both totally familiar.
Maybe that’s why one artist — who goes by the pseudonym Travis Durden — decided to create a mash-up of these two icons of Western culture!
By combining Star Wars characters with classic Greek statues, he’s created a combination of past and present, ancient and modern, and high and low culture.
But even with all those differences, the statues still somehow make sense because they’re so immediately recognizable to everyone, just like another iconic figure that got a Star Wars–inspired makeover.
What do you think of this artistic mash-up? Let us know in the comments below!
These unique statues combine characters from the Star Wars universe with classical Greek sculptures. Here, a stormtrooper in a robe reads from a text.
Yoda takes the form of Eros, the god of love. Durden created the statues using a faux marble, but it looks just like the real thing.
He based the bodies on statues he saw at the Louvre in Paris, tweaking them to suit his needs and, of course, to accommodate their modern additions. In creating them, he wanted to get people thinking about artistic tradition and history, and the contrasts and similarities of ancient and modern icons.
'Fascinated by the construction of myths and idols, he interrogates how we, as humans, determine what will be raised to popular culture or elevated to divine cult, and how history has influenced us in making this choice,' explains his press representative. Durden is concerned with how ancient artifacts are often lost or destroyed, and wants these sculptures to inspire people to work toward preserving them.
In keeping with his exploration of paradox and society's fixation on icons, Durden himself chooses to remain anonymous. His name, 'Travis Durden,' is taken from the names of characters in Taxi Driver and Fight Club, respectively. He says he wants people to focus on his artwork rather than on him. It's just another layer in the complex cultural narrative that we've created.
Durden wants people to look at classical art with the same enthusiasm and wonder that they look at pop culture: “Bringing together ancient classical art and modern culture is a way for the latter to contribute to the preservation of the former, it is an invitation to go back and rediscover our ancestors’ work before we, the general public, forget about them.”
The sculptures, five in total, are currently on display in Paris, and prints of them can be purchased through the gallery website.
And if you know someone who loves culture, no matter where or when it’s from, be sure to SHARE this article with them!