This Amazingly Intricate 15-Foot Star Wars Painting Costs $200,000

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 - 3:27PM
Star Wars
Sci-Fi Art
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 - 3:27PM
This Amazingly Intricate 15-Foot Star Wars Painting Costs $200,000

The above painting, entitled 20th Century Space Opera, is a humongous love letter to Star Wars, and it can be yours for the low, low price of $200,000.

 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Artist Robert Xavier Burden hand-painted this 8' by 15' magnum opus in 2,000 hours over 18 months. The oil painting is organized somewhat intuitively for Star Wars fans, split into "light" and "dark" sides of the Force, as seen below:

 

The Light Side: 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The Lando Calrissian corner:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The Dark Side: 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The Empire:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

In the center, the painting features the villainous Boba Fett against a Mona Lisa-like landscape that represents the Bay Area, where Star Wars was first conceived:

 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

And if you're wondering what real-life figures such as Joseph Campbell or Yul Brynner are doing in there, both men had a hand in influencing the characters in Star Wars. George Lucas explicitly credited Campbell's comparative mythology book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, with inspiring Luke's hero's journey, and Yul Brynner starred in The Magnificent Seven, a forbear to Star Wars that influenced some of the Western elements of the series.

 

Joseph Campbell: 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Yul Brynner:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The real test of a Star Wars fan, however, is whether they recognize Snaggletooth in the top right corner. "In Snaggletooth's bio he's described as a tortured artist, so maybe that's kind of the self-portrait," said Burden.

 

Snaggletooth:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

If you look closely, the characters don't resemble their cinematic counterparts so much as the toys released in their image. This is very much intentional, as the painting is part of a series inspired by Burden's childhood toys.

 

"In 2006 I began a series of large-scale oil paintings based upon the small action figures that I played with as a boy," Burden said of the series. "I remember these figures as being magnificent. They represented power, beauty, good and evil, and they captured every aspect of my imagination. As an adult these toys are wonderfully nostalgic, but they're no longer amazing to me. The ineffability of what can turn a cheap yet coveted piece of plastic into an almost talismanic object was the original inspiration for this work."

 

Iconic scenes from the original trilogy:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Yoda!

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Characters from the Phantom Menace: 

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The painting is priced at $200,000, although Burden admits that he's not especially optimistic about moving it quickly. First, since his paintings are all such huge undertakings, his artistic career isn't as established as most artists who would sell paintings for that kind of money. And also, although art commenting on pop culture has seen a rise in recent years, art celebrating pop culture is a different matter entirely. "There's been an embrace of pop culture art, but it's a little irreverent," Burden told Wired. "There's a reverence to fan art."

 

The Hoth corner:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

The Tatooine corner:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

But for any of you who might want to buy it, Burden is taking the monster painting to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim this April.

 

"If this isn't going to be in a place like the Gagosian Gallery," Burden said, "then I want it to be seen where the biggest Star Wars fans are."

 

Singer Sy Snootles:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Bossk:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

Klaatu:

Star Wars

[Credit: Robert Xavier Burden]

 

As a side note, we weren't able to find the dreaded Jar Jar Binks, and according to Burden, we might not want to: "Once you see him, you'll never be able to not see him again."

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