Original Damien Hirst Stormtrooper helmet art piece comes to Dubai

One of cinema’s most iconic costume pieces has been given a makeover by artists for a new Dubai exhibition.

Artists including the British visionary Damien Hirst have put their personal stamp on the Stormtrooper helmet from the Star Wars movies.

Hirst covered the helmet with his trademark coloured spots for the Art Wars exhibition which first appeared at London’s Saatchi Gallery in October 2013.

Fans of pop art and Star Wars can now see the helmets, plus others by 20 local artists and more international talents, at an exhibition in the Bloomingdale Atrium at The Dubai Mall from Thursday March 20.

The helmets will then go on display at Comic Con, at the World Trade Centre from April 3 to 5, before being put up for auction on April 5. As with much of his work during his stellar career, Hirst’s piece is expected to be sold for big bucks.

The man who designed the original helmet is Andrew Ainsworth, who worked on the first 1977 Star Wars movie. He designed the distinctive helmet as a 27-year-old art school graduate and went on to work on more than 70 films at the famous Shepperton Design Studios in Britain including Alien, Superman and Flash Gordon.

Ainsworth first sold a Stormtrooper helmet at auction in 2002 and was amazed to find it went for more than Dhs300,000. He’s been selling them ever since from his London studio.

Years later, Ainsworth came up with the idea of the Art Wars exhibition and will give a workshop on film prop design at Comic Con.

Ben Caddy, Managing Director of Comic Con said: “The exhibit is being curated by Emirati Urban Artist and Toy designer Mo Abedin and will feature the work of artists from the UAE such as Mohammed Al Mubarak, Jalal Luqman, Mattar bin Lahej, Mohammed Kanoo, Ruben Sanchez and El Seed alongside up-and-coming artists and creative talent.”

He added: “It’s an honour to be only the second venue in the world to feature the exhibit and to have the Damien Hirst piece for display and auction. Putting it alongside our regional artists makes it extra special.”


Stormtroopers are perhaps the most iconic characters in the Star Wars movies, but they were also responsible for one of the most infamous movie howlers ever, as you can see below……