Creating a timeless film is all-consuming. The directors’ months or years of hard work often merges them into the fabric of the story, and to the rest of the movie-consuming world, they are the cult-classic characters that they create.
Artist Mike Leavitt created “King Cuts” to personify their blood, sweat and tears. According to the bio on his website, Leavitt is a “38 year-old making dolls in his basement” who quit Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute of Art after freshman year. He did alright for himself after that decision, going on to establish his own company in 1997 and hold more than 126 exhibitions around the world.
With “King Cuts,” he’s carved and sculpted 16 of the greatest filmmakers of all time in wood and polymer clay, transforming them into the works they’re famous for. From the portfolio page:
Great film directors get cut up. They take pains with the details, story, money and sacrifices to their vision. Their body succumbs to the pressure. So Mike Leavitt carved Tarantino, Kubrick, Scorsese and more physically consumed by their work. Hitchcock, Coppola and others are cut from blocks of wood like directors cut a take or reel. There’s a risk of mistakes with every slice. Directors commit to a story at every cut. Leavitt unmasks wizards behind the camera like Spielberg and David Lynch to get a taste of their own medicine. ‘King Cuts’ are totems of satire and devotion to the 16 best storytellers ever.
Some of them are hard to look at: We see Quentin Tarantino as a bloodied Kill Bill homage, David Lynch as the Elephant Man and Steven Spielberg as a bizarre ET. Others are just whimsical, with Wes Anderson dressed in his characters’ quirky style and George Lucas as a reclining Jabba the Hutt.
Click through the slideshow above to see more of Leavitt’s work, and read about the exhibition here.