Founder of Art Below and "Art Wars" curator Ben Moore commissioned 14 bigshot artists to give the original white Stormtrooper helmets flashy makeovers. Here, Damien Hirst's polka dot design adds a much-needed splash of color to the gritty gray Death Star.

Damien Hirst. Spot Painted Art Wars Stormtrooper Helmet, 2013.Household gloss on Stormtrooper helmet. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2013

All proceeds will go to the “Missing Tom” fund--a search for Moore’s brother Tom, who disappeared in 2003 at age 31. D*Face's hippy helmet would make Yoda smile.

D*Face. ‘Stop Wars.' Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head painted by D*Face. 2013. Signed by D*Face and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

In a galaxy far, far away, trippy zebra prints are very in.

Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head painted by Inkie.
2013. Signed by Inkie and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Space bling.

Ben Moore. ‘StormOffSki.’ Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head encrusted in 6000 Swarowksi Xilion
Rose Crystals. Seated upon revolving turn table (1.5 revolutions per
minute) Artist: Ben Moore Image: Bran Symondson
2010. Signed by Ben Moore and Andrew Ainsworth.

Moore tells Co.Design, “If you take anyone in the street, they're just a random member of the public. That's like the anonymity of a white Stormtrooper. But as a soon as you know someone, you know their individuality, their markings. We took white uniformed creatures and gave them individuality and identity. It’s a kind of statement that everyone means something to someone.”

David Bailey. Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head painted by David Bailey. ©David Bailey 2013 Signed by David Bailey and Andrew Ainsworth.
Image: Bran Symondson

Andrew Ainsworth, ‘Glimmer of New Hope.’ Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head by Andrew Ainsworth. 2013. Signed by Andrew Ainsworth.
Courtesy of Shepperton Design Studios.

Rocking out with a beard of beads.

Yinka Shonibare, iPod Invader, 2013. Courtesy: Art Wars. David Bailey helmet. Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head painted by David Bailey. 2013. Signed by David Bailey and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Paul Fryer, ‘Mud Trooper.' Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head by Paul Fryer. 2013. Signed by Paul Fryer and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Mat Collishaw. ‘Star F*cker’. 2013.. C-Type print. Photographic framed print (1 meter x 1.5 meter).

Mo' money, mo' intergalactic problems. Bran Symondson, ‘Dark Side of the Dollar.' Acrylic capped ABS Stormtrooper head, replicated dollar bills.
Image: Bran Symondson.

This rosy soldier gets in touch with his feminine side.

Antony Micallef, ‘Peace Maker.' Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head painted by Antony Micallef. 2013. Signed by Antony Micallef and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Artist Kays forked this trooper up. Hayden Kays, ‘May the fork be with you.’ Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head with garden fork.
2013. Signed by Hayden Kays and Andrew Ainsworth.
Image: Bran Symondson

Channeling Warhol with Campbell's Condensed Trooper Spray (force-infused chicken broth?).

Mr. Brainwash helmet. Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head by Mr Brainwash. 2013. Signed by Mr Brainwash and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Crocheting really helps this trooper relax after a long day at work.

Joana Vasconcelos, ‘Crochet Vader.'
Acrylic capped ABS Stormtrooper head, Azores crocheted lace
31 x 33 x 35 cm
© Unidade Infinita Projectos.
2013. Signed by Joana Vasconcelos and Andrew Ainsworth.

Motorcycles and Marlboros are classic Dark Side vices.
Jason Brooks, ‘Ayrton.' Acrylic Capped ABS Storm Trooper head by Jason Brooks. 2013. Paint/Polycarbonate and Fixings. Signed by Jason Brooks and Andrew Ainsworth. Image: Bran Symondson

Curator Moore tells Co.Design that when he saw Chapman's lumpy helmet, he was struck by a Force-like deja vu: "I felt I'd seen it somewhere before." He says the design is one of his favorites.

The helmets are on view at London’s STRATA Art Fair with Satchi Gallery until October 13, and then will be displayed on billboards in the Regent’s Park Underground station to coincide with Frieze (October 17-20 October).

In February 2014, the helmets will be auctioned off at Christies for an estimated $10,000 to $50,000, all in support of the Missing Tom Fund.

Another part of "Art Wars" is Ben Moore's "Pink Storm," in which he dresses up as a pink Stormtrooper costume and hangs out at protests, art museums (he was mistaken for a sculpture at the Tate Modern once), and on public transportation, or photographs himself next to uniformed police and armed guards to create strange juxtapositions.

A decapitated Mr. Brainwash feels the force of his splatter-painted trooper helmet.

Artist David Bailey gets cozy with his gem-encrusted trooper pal.

Co.Design

Big Shot Artists Decorate Stormtrooper Helmets For Charity

Turning the Dark Side into the Art Side, Darth Vader's automaton army gets Yoda-approved makeovers from the likes of Damien Hirst, Mr. Brainwash, and D*Face.

The art world has officially gone to the Dark Side: Damien Hirst, D*Face, and Yinka Shonibare are among 14 artists who have given the classic Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets flashy makeovers. Now we know why Stormtroopers were such pissed off death machines—they had to wear the same boring, uncomfortable white suits while serving their jerk Dark Lord of a boss, Vader. But these lucky Sith finally found their true selves through artistic expression.

Designed for Art Below founder Ben Moore’s "Art Wars" project, all proceeds will go to the Missing Tom fund—a search for Moore’s brother, who disappeared in 2003 at age 31. Moore tells Co.Design, "My brother gave me my first Stormtrooper figurine—he brought it back from boarding school with other Star Wars figures." Of the connection between Tom and Art Wars, Moore says, "If you take anyone in the street, they're just a random member of the public. That's like the anonymity of a white Stormtrooper. But as a soon as you know someone, you know their individuality, their markings. We took white uniformed creatures and gave them individuality and identity. It’s a kind of statement that everyone means something to someone." Alongside the Missing People Charity, Moore’s family has reopened their quest and started MissingTom.com.

All participating artists were given a Stormtrooper helmet cast from the original 1976 moulds by Andrew Ainsworth and had free reign to make it their own. Artist D*Face freed the automaton killers into the Age of Aquarius with a groovy Stop Wars helmet that would make Yoda smile. Damien Hirst’s polka-dot design brings a much-needed splash of color to the gritty, gray Death Star. Bran Symondson’s Dark Side of the Dollar reminds us of the greed that drives the Sith—mo’ money, mo’ intergalactic problems. Mr. Brainwash channels Andy Warhol with his Campbell’s Condensed Trooper Spray design, and learning to crochet really taught Joana Vasconcelos’s Crochet Vader to relax. For his own design, curator Moore crushed a helmet into the size of a Rubik's Cube and called it Crushing Force.

"You can tell which artists just had their studios do the project for them—Damien Hirst didn’t touch the helmet himself, he just had his studio brand it with his trademark spots," Moore tells Co.Design. "D*Face and Mr. Brainwash definitely did their painting themselves."

The helmets are on view at London’s STRATA Art Fair with Satchi Gallery until October 13, and then will be displayed on billboards in the Regent’s Park Underground station to coincide with Frieze (October 17-20). In February 2014, the helmets will be auctioned off at Christie's for an estimated $10,000 to $50,000, all in support of the Missing Tom Fund.

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