Art, tech, and pop-culture worlds will collide this month as local artist David Blancas prepares to launch "Lone Star Wars," his inaugural project as Geekdom’s first official artist-in-residence. The show will feature his creative interpretations of classic art masterpieces using Star Wars characters, a tribute series to the film’s starships, and public art created by other participating artists.
Geekdom Director Lorenzo Gomez created the artist-in-residence position to inspire the tech startup co-working space's members, employees, and the larger San Antonio community.
“Most geeks know and love Star Wars, but geeks might not understand the art world,” Gomez said. “Using something that they're comfortable with can introduce them into a new world. I don’t know anything about the famous originals, but when he explains them I won't forget because he brought them to me in a safe place.”
Blancas’ painting of Han Solo trapped in chocolate paleta and his Princess Leia, inspired by Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe portrait, are especially iconic "re-masterpieces."
“When I look at that piece this is what I love about San Antonio,” Gomez added. “David took something that was so uniquely San Antonio and bridged it with Star Wars and made it into a talking piece.”
The Lone Star Wars exhibit kicks off its tour with a free art show on Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Geekdom Event Center, 131 Soledad St., 5-10 p.m. Sci-fi fans and art enthusiasts can get in a Star Wars state-of-mind with themed sculptures, paintings, and holograms that embody the spirit of the films.
“I will be creating these 're-masterpeices' that will culminate with a gallery show in anticipation of the upcoming movie,” Blancas said. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on Dec. 18. “(Art is) kind of a messy process sometimes, but Geekdom seems to connect to that. Hopefully I will be the first of many artists-in-residence here.”
Gomez described state Rep. Diego Bernal as Geekdom’s first unofficial artist-in-residence when the former Council member recorded a CD in Geekdom’s studios. Although Bernal was not a computer engineer or programmer, “He was essentially a startup like us, leaving the office at two or three in the morning,” Gomez said. “We hope to recreate that experience and energy with our official artists.”
Artists will be paid a stipend for materials needed and given free office space in Geekdom. Residencies will vary, but will typically last between six months and a year. Gomez hopes that each artist can contribute permanent and temporary art pieces for the offices to enjoy.
Fans can follow the Lone Star Wars show over the upcoming weeks, with events like Lone Star Wars @The Paint Yard 2nd Saturday Paint Jam. The Paint Yard provides a safe place for San Antonio muralists to feature their Star Wars-inspired art alongside Blancas’ pieces.
Artists will also be present at the Tower of the Americas for the San Antonio Wookiee Walk on Sunday, Dec. 13, at Hemisfair Park. Attendees are invited to admire the art, dress up, and practice the iconic guttural lament of the Star Wars character Chewbacca. The Lone Star Wars @ Film Debut at City Base Cinema, offers moviegoers a chance to check out the art before heading into the theater on Friday, Dec. 18 and again on Saturday, Dec.19.
The Lone Star Wars event series culminates at The Brick at Blue Star on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The exhibit will allow fans to discuss shared surprises or disappointments from the movie and purchase work from various artists. Partial profits of all artwork sales will benefit a local charity, such as St. PJ’s Children’s Home.
*Top image: David Blancas stands for a photo near his recent Star Wars-themed work in his South Presa Street studio. Photo by Scott Ball.