Damien Hirst Turns The Dark Side Into Art For Charity

Damien Hirst

Art Wars is an exhibition of Stormtrooper helmets transformed into works of art,  by artists including Damien Hirst, David Bailey Paul Fryer, Joana Vasconcelos, Yinka Shonibare, Mat Collishaw, Mr.Brainwash, Ben Eine, Antony Micallef, Oliver Clegg and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

The project sees Ben Moore, founder of Art Below, team up with the Missing People Charity and Andrew Ainsworth, creator of the original Stormtrooper figure from Star Wars. Renowned as one of the world’s most illustrious photographers, Bailey is also a sculptor. Having been issued with a Stormtrooper helmet, the artist has created a unique piece of work for the show.

Art Wars is an art collective that was founded in 2007 when artist / entrepreneur Ben Moore teamed up with Andrew Ainsworth the creator of the original storm trooper.The name Art Wars is part inspired from the conflict and struggle for ownership over one of the biggest icons of modern culture, The StormTrooper. In July 2011 Ainsworth won a court case against LucasFilm over the ownership and copyright of the design, allowing this project to continue.

Art Wars will be unveiled at the inaugural Strarta Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery this October (9-13th), and will also be showcased for 4 weeks across billboard space on an entire platform of Regent’s Park Underground station to coincide with Frieze (17-20th), before being auctioned off for the Missing Tom fund.

Contributors include Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, English multimedia street artist D*Face, Antony Micallef of BP Portrait Award fame, East London’s ‘Alphabet Street’ creator Ben Eine, rising star of the London contemporary arts scene Oliver Clegg, Turner prize nominee Yinka Shonibare, street artist Inkie, Mr. Brainwash and internationally celebrated artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst, Paul Fryer and Mat Collishaw. All participating artists have been issued with a Stormtrooper helmet cast from the original 1976 moulds by Andrew Ainsworth.

2013 marks the 10th year that Ben’s brother Tom has been missing. Proceeds from the Art Wars exhibition and auction go to the ‘Missing Tom’ fund, which was started up specifically to raise money to support the search for Thomas Moore.
Tom left his family home in 2003.  He was aged 31 years old.  His friends and family have not heard from him since then. His brother Ben spent the next three years looking for him and at one point was two weeks behind him. With the demands and pressures of London life, and becoming a dad of two, Ben was forced to put the search for his brother on hold. Now ten years on and with the support of the Missing People Charity, his family is reopening the search for Tom and has started up a website www.missingtom.com. A short narrated film about Tom can be viewed here

Ben Moore says:  ‘I am excited about the potential of Art Wars to raise awareness, not just for my brother Tom’s disappearance, but also for the Missing People Charity and the work they do day in and day out. I am very grateful to the participating artists for giving their time and energy to this project and really believe that with their support we will find Tom’.  

Artists Include: Andrew Ainsworth,   David Bailey,    Mr.Brainwash, Jake and Dinos Chapman    Mat Collishaw   Oliver Clegg, D*Face, Matt Farina, Ben Eine, Paul Fryer, Damien Hirst, Inkie, Antony Micallef, Ben Moore, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Bran Symondson, Joana Vasconcelos

ART WARS’ AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY.  9th – 13th October 2013

Photo: ‘StormOffSki’ 2010 by
Ben Moore (Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head encrusted in 6000
Swarovski Xilion Rose Crystals seated upon revolving turn table)