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Lego Star Wars Minifigures as Art


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#1 GRogall

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:49 AM

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I wander where this will lead?

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The LEGO WARS series is a photographic study of popular culture, commercial advertising and nostalgia. As an adult,
Dale May revisits these tiny plastic Lego toys and photographs them in a way that returns them to the epic importance
they once had as a child, reminding us why we needed to collect every single piece.

Iconic, nostalgic, yet timeless, the artist brings a new look to a subject that’s common place. Dale leaves nothing to chance,
not only is the work impeccably crafted and well thought out but the material he has chosen to produce the
Lego Wars series was no accident. Dale felt that the entire piece of art should resemble the high polished glossiness
of the subject itself. Crafted in archival acrylic and backed with aluminum dibond, the work is given a look not unlike
the plastic Star Wars Lego or something in Darth Vader’s home, the Death Star itself!

Once made from molded plastic, standing just over an inch, and in danger of being stepped on, these characters now stand tall,
speak to us and demand attention!



The ARTIST, internationally renowned, award winning advertising, celebrity, and music photographer Dale May,
has been pushing the boundaries of photography and digital imaging for more than 15 years. Best known for his richly stylized,
character driven, conceptual imagery, he quickly became a favorite hire to capture some of today’s most iconic personalities.
Dale has shot Christina Aguilera, Isaac Mizrahi, Jared Leto, Gene Simmons, Moby, Dave Grohl, Casey Affleck, Matt Leblanc,
Nathan Lane, as well as countless bands, from Black Sabbath to 30 Seconds To Mars, and the Broadway casts of West Side Story,
9 to 5, Hair and most recently, Spiderman Turn Off The Dark.

Although Dale has remained focused on his commercial career, his roots have always been firmly planted in the fine arts.
He grew up 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia in Chadds Ford, PA. Dale’s grandfather was a big-band drummer and band leader
in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and his grandmother was a supper club singer. Dale has played the drums from age five and was also
artistically inspired by his neighbor, the American Contemporary Realist painter, Andrew Wyeth.

Dale moved to NY to study painting, color theory, and art history at Parson's School of Design.
The foundation of these first few years shaped his current aesthetic style, and he graduated in 1993 with a BFA in Photography.

Dale left Parsons and went on to work with iconic photographer Joyce Tenneson, who had an influence on him with her ethereal effects.
At this point, he continued working with fashion and still life photographers, including Jose Picayo. Dale chose to apprentice with photographers
that were both commercial as well as recognized fine artists, and was particularly drawn to a painterly style.
Working with still life photographers provided Dale a technician's training in lighting, equipment and post production.

Combining his background in painting and color theory, lighting and post production, Dale works with the inspiration to make the unthinkable real,
as well as ... believable.

The full gallery can be viewed here!

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#2 Brickmamba

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:53 AM

That's some great pictures there, but why is C3PO branded with ChaneI when the background is LV  :sceptic:

Edited by Brickmamba, 13 January 2012 - 10:53 AM.

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#3 into the blue

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

Love the pins in the stormie's arm and leg.
See this? This... is my BOOMSTICK!

#4 JackJonespaw

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:55 PM

Very cool! Although that X-Ray'd Stormie's a bit creepy.  :sceptic:

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#5 Werlu Ulcur

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

View Postinto the blue, on 13 January 2012 - 11:24 AM, said:

Love the pins in the stormie's arm and leg.
Nice detail, but wrong, since they would have used a bacta tank for that kind of injury.

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#6 art_apples

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

Wow have you seen the prices some of these prints go for.

Not being rude to the artist, but to be honest there are way more superior photos in our very own Photo thread here on EB. Maybe some of the great photographers here should perhaps contact the gallery that displays this artists work with some of their own pieces.

As an Art Advisor myself I'd say the idea initially is interesting, to juxtapose images of a popular toy line in a classic theme with social commentary. But I don't think he has really carried it through with any thoughtfull meaning, it seems rather barren of depth or substance.

#7 StoutFiles

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:39 PM

Overrated and overpriced.  If you want Star Wars art go buy something from Ralph McQuarrie or one of the many other artists who have done unique designs.  I bet multiple people could pull off these pictures with a nice camera and Photoshop.

#8 smokebelch

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

I like some of the straight forward minifig shots- but the price!!!! Wow!
I guess he can charge that much because of who he is, but seriously save yourself some coin and pick up some of Avanauts or Powerpigs prints from Redbubble- way cheaper (way, way, way! Cheaper in fact  :laugh: )  and much better to be honest. Much more thought and care goes into their work, and a love for Star Wars and Lego too, which to be honest im not getting from these...

#9 Brickdoctor

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

View Postsmokebelch, on 13 January 2012 - 02:43 PM, said:

Much more thought and care goes into their work, and a love for Star Wars and Lego too, which to be honest im not getting from these...
I agree. The Skeleton Stormie is somewhat clever and pretty well executed, but that's the best one I see.

I also don't see how Threepio is made to appear to have "epic importance" and "stand tall" when the camera angle is looking down on him.

#10 Clone OPatra

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:18 PM

I find this art to be pretty pretentious.  It's not that the images are bad, but they're just basic, and so to pass this off as some sort of high art with a message is just ridiculous.  And trying to sell it like that; terrible.

As someone mentioned, this pales in comparison to Avanaut's work, which, in its beauty, has much more impact and emotional resonance.
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#11 CallMePie

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

View Postsmokebelch, on 13 January 2012 - 02:43 PM, said:

I like some of the straight forward minifig shots- but the price!!!! Wow!
I guess he can charge that much because of who he is, but seriously save yourself some coin and pick up some of Avanauts or Powerpigs prints from Redbubble- way cheaper (way, way, way! Cheaper in fact  :laugh: )  and much better to be honest.

Are you kidding? For LEGO Star Wars, I'll print out some of your pictures and just frame them. :rofl:

I can't imagine anybody buying these.

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Once made from molded plastic, standing just over an inch, and in danger of being stepped on, these characters now stand tall,
speak to us and demand attention!

And what crap is this? It's as if these guys have never even heard of a LEGO convention...that stuff is worth $2,000, not pictures of minifigs with fairly interesting backgrounds. It's not bad photography, but really...  :sceptic:
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#12 KimT

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:23 PM

Awesome and pricey *huh*
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#13 Mr Man

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:31 PM

View Postgrogall, on 13 January 2012 - 10:49 AM, said:

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I like this one :thumbup:, but those are stupid amounts of money for what they are :sceptic: :hmpf_bad:.
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#14 JackJonespaw

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:24 AM

View PostMr Man, on 13 January 2012 - 08:31 PM, said:

I like this one :thumbup:, but those are stupid amounts of money for what they are :sceptic: :hmpf_bad:.
Yeah, 7,200 for the X-Ray'd Stormie!  :hmpf: I bet someone here at EB could make a pretty good looking one, too.

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#15 JimBee

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:25 AM

View PostClone O, on 13 January 2012 - 06:18 PM, said:

I find this art to be pretty pretentious.  It's not that the images are bad, but they're just basic, and so to pass this off as some sort of high art with a message is just ridiculous.  And trying to sell it like that; terrible.

As someone mentioned, this pales in comparison to Avanaut's work, which, in its beauty, has much more impact and emotional resonance.
Exactly what was running through my head when viewing these. They're cool and all, but really not worth paying anything for. Putting a price on something like this (a high one at that) just defeats the purpose and the effect. Plus it's not something most anyone else could do.

Ah well. Thanks for sharing grogall, they were nice to look at.

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#16 lego envy

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

The stormie is very cool. :thumbup: :thumbup:
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#17 Darth Dino

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

Hi

i bet there will be copyright and trademarktroubbles about the brand logos. There are no problems to take pictures of them, probably problems to share them for free and for sure problems if you sell them. I fibf them pricy too, because they are often "just simple macros" on acylic aludibond. My 30x90 cm (12x36") acrylic aludibonds are for 100€. And they use kodak profesional portait paper. So those are still large and so expensive but many thousands are a way too much.

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#18 GRogall

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:42 PM

Her is an interview after the  Vernissage conducted by the Greenwich Post.

Gallery owner shares thoughts on Lego Wars
Written by Greenwich Post Staff
Thursday, 22 December 2011 15:00

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Lee Milazzo, the co-owner (with his wife Cindy Milazzo) of the Samuel Owen Gallery on Greenwich Avenue,
has shared his thoughts with the Post about the gallery’s current show
“Lego Wars,” a photographic exhibition of works by international photographer Dale May, which opened on Dec. 15.

Here are his answers to questions from the Post.



How did the opening go?

Mr. Milazzo: The opening was a huge success! We had over 350 people in attendance. and over 30 pieces were sold the night of the opening. We expect many more sales throughout the weekend.


What did people find interesting and were drawn to, etc.?

Mr. Milazzo: People were very drawn to the artwork. The subject matter speaks to such a wide range, both children and adults were captivated by the work. The majority of the people
I talked to were also very taken by the materials used in producing the works of art. The slick look of the aluminum and acrylic used to produce the photos are very impressive and contemporary.
When the pieces are hung they look like artwork that would hang in Darth Vader’s Dining Room!


Were adults as captivated as children?

Mr. Milazzo: Very much so. We encouraged children to come to the gallery and have their picture taken with a stormtrooper we hired to walk around the gallery the
night of the opening. Most of the adults were having their picture taken with the stormtrooper as well. My favorite part of the evening was when a 70-year-old man
asked me to take his picture with the stormtrooper so he could use it on his Facebook page!

The kids were so excited about the art work. It was great to watch the kids explain to their parents who some of the characters were and some of the kids even
signed our guest book. The entries are priceless. I have attached a photo of what they wrote. The gallery was like a brand new toy store that their parents didn’t want to leave. The margaritas helped.


What makes Legos and Star Wars imagery so compelling for so many years, generations?

Mr. Milazzo: You would think that parents would be buying these pieces for their kids’ bedrooms but most of the pieces we have sold so far have been for living rooms,
offices and even dining rooms. The images are nostalgic for adults, and kids can’t believe they are seeing the characters they play with every day on such a grand scale.
The interesting thing about the work is that children grow up with these works of art and never forget the phase of their lives when Star Wars played such an important role in their lives.
When they are adults and look at the artwork that was purchased the characters will be vintage, giving an entirely new spin on the artwork. This show has been so much fun to produce —
the subject matter is accessible, smart and engaging. I have always encouraged my clients to bring their kids into the gallery and this was a perfect opportunity for them to do so.

Edited by grogall, 14 January 2012 - 11:47 PM.

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