Though Plasticgod has been creating art since he was two, his obsession with celebrity came much later. He discovered the zeitgeist goldmine—the Lego-form rendering of celebrities—in 2000, and has worked with that form ever since.
“I started with music figures, and then people requested more generic icons and celebrities. Run DMC has been the most popular by far. The Lego form is the skeleton, and everything else is the skin. I’ve created 600 celebrities and icons, and I still haven’t done Ozzy Ozbourne—that’s how much more there is to do!”
“Over the years I've modified the shapes of my people to make them more my own, separating myself from Lego just like [toymaker] Kubricks by Medicom has done. Lego was the launch pad and yes the framework but my work has evolved from those archetypes to reflect my own ideas.”
“Not everybody is into David Bowie or Run DMC. I figured if I put several figures together with a theme, they’d gravitate toward the theme, rather than the individual figure. It would be more appealing in a general sense. I call them ‘mashups.’ In the room, there is Glam on one side, and on the other side, the large image is Marth Vader.”
Marth Vader moves definitively beyond Plasticgod’s “Run DMC as Lego” appeal, and begins to question why and how we revere celebrities—or, in this case, how effectively media corporations insert them into our day-to-day lives. What makes Martha Stewart recognizable even as a yellow Lego face in a Darth Vader helmet with Mickey Mouse ears? How do two lines representing eyes and white circle earrings still add up to “Martha Stewart”?
Thankfully, Plasticgod is not at risk of succumbing to art celebrity snootiness; he feels no shame in “selling in” to art-as-branding if it means that more people will see his art. In the end, he is the one that determines that Tila Tequila, the most popular girl on MySpace, deserves space on a wall next to the robot from Daft Punk, Tommy Lee from Motley Crüe, and a hybrid David Bowie/Gene Simmons. He is the person who puts them all in a room, with nothing but hotel guests and the cleaning staff to offer them relief from each other.