It’s May 4th. So this article is dedicated to all nerds like myself. While some of my friends were idolizing Derek Jeter and Eli Manning, Star Wars characters and superheroes were better than Tim Tebow or Robinson Canó could ever be. I know nearly every line to every Star Wars film (even the prequels), and I would draw little doodles of the Teen Titans and Spiderman (Toby MacGuire, not Andrew Garfield) at the edges of my homework assignments. I thought I’d seen everything that there was to see regarding fan art, but these photographs must be some of the greatest pieces of work commemorated to science fiction that I have ever seen. So, I thought it would be appropriate to post this on May 4th, the Star Wars holiday, known for its puny catchphrase “May the Fourth Be With You.”
This is the work of French photographer Sacha Goldberger in his newest series entitled Super Flemish. On his website, Goldberger asks “What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? And what if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White?” The series takes some of the most beloved science fiction characters and reimagines them as if they had their portrait done by Rembrandt or Rubens or another painter of the Flemish style. Goldberger adds highly stylized costumes, linen ruffs about the neck and wrists, as well as pets for some. Darth Vader can be seen stroking a miniature AT-AT sitting on his lap like a cat. Droids are no exception. R2-D2 dons a blue cloak and an abnormally wide ruff. Princess Leia, Batman, a Tusken Raider and Wonder Woman all pose as Sixteenth Century aristocrats in Super Flemish, making the entire series one of the most impressive works of fan art that I have yet seen. Even the Hulk makes an appearance. Though shirtless, he still remembered to wear his ruffs and his satin breeches. So, as Goldberger says, “As science fiction meets history of art, time meets an inexhaustible desire for mythology which is within each of us.” It’s actually kind of fitting, being that most superheroes live their daily lives cloaked in some form of an alter ego, like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne or Barry Allen. Star Wars characters, especially the Jedi, lead lives almost like Franciscan monks: leading lowly lives, but tasked with protecting the people of the Galaxy from evil. So to dress these humble heroes in gallant and eloquent dress is rather fitting.
Goldberger exhibited Super Flemish at the School Gallery in Paris in September 2014. Goldberger has also exhibited at the New Delhi Photo Festival, the Amsterdam Art Fair, the Berliner Liste, the London Art Fair, the Getxophoto Festival in Getxo, Spain, the Palm Beach Art Fair, the Angkor Festival.
For more information about Sacha Goldberger, click here. May the Fourth Be With You.