Art Wars: Damien Hirst and Yinka Shonibare give Stormtrooper helmets a makeover

Contemporary artists have put their own mark on the iconic Star Wars helmet as part of a new exhibition opening in London
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A number of high profile artists have come together to put their own mark on the Stormtrooper helmet as part of a new exhibition.

Damien Hirst, D*Face and Yinka Shonibare are among the 14 artists who have given the classic Star Wars masks their own twist.

Click here or on 'view gallery' for more images of Stormtrooper masks

Ben Moore, curator of the exhibition, said the artists did not need much persuasion.

“We all grew up with Star Wars and Stormtroopers,” he said. “They’re kind of like an iconic object. It wasn’t too hard to persuade the artists to do this. As soon as an artist sees this object, the creative mind is activated and overwhelmed with possibilities.”

Moore, a Star Wars fan and co-founder of Art Below, a public enterprise that promotes artworks in underground stations, said he always wanted to curate an exhibition with brightly coloured Stormtroopers.

He was introduced to Stormtrooper designer Andrew Ainsworth in 2008, and persuaded the prop maker to donate some helmets to his current exhibition.

Moore said: “What I wanted to do was liberate these cloned troopers by giving them independence through colour and artistic identity.

"A Stormtrooper is a mechanised, obedient, machine-like soldier that’s under control. I wanted to free them from their uniformity.”

The masks will be auctioned in February 2014 at Christie’s to raise money in aid of Moore’s brother Tom, who has been missing for ten years.

With the help of the Missing People Charity, the Moore family are reopening the search for Tom, who left home aged 31 and has not made contact with friends or family since.

Moore estimates each mask will sell for £10,000-£50,000, which he will put towards generating a publicity campaign to help find his brother.

Until 13 October. The helmets will be on display at STRARTA Art Fair as part of a curated space at Saatchi Gallery; posters of the helmets will go on show at Regent’s Park tube.