Internationally acclaimed artist Whatshisname launches a new collection of his Gone series for Castle Fine Art based on beloved characters from space-themed films. The three new works feature Yoda, R2D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars, and E.T, films which, for many people, represent an emotional part of childhood which they have carried into their adult lives.
Earlier versions of these haunting, shadowed images from the Gone series have included Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson, Winnie-the-Pooh and Buzz Lightyear, all figures from childhood; the shadowed element representing our deep-rooted sense of nostalgia.
Read on to see Whatshisname talk about the inspiration behind his Gone series, and you can buy more pieces by him, including the previous Gone works here. Castle Fine Art is also working on an exciting new secret project with Whatshisname which will be of interest to anyone who is fascinated by space, so to be the one of the first to know about this, sign up for our mailing list.
Featured art: 'Gone I Am' by Whatshisname. Limited edition giclee, £995.
Whatshisname was inspired to create the Gone series after dreaming about a figure from his childhood. “They only appeared as a faded silhouette,” he remembers. “It felt like meeting with an old family member or a good friend who l hadn't see in a very long time. After waking up I could still remember the feeling but I couldn't remember who the person was, only a shadowy outline which could have been anyone”.
The extended hands of the characters stuck to the face of the canvases remind us about the presence of these characters. Are they saying goodbye while fading from our memories as we focus our attention elsewhere in adult lives? Or are they saying “We are still here, don’t forget about us” as they fade into the past? It’s up to the viewer to decide what their childhood heroes are saying to them.
“I created this series of work to acknowledge the influence of our childhood on our future selves,” says Whatshisname. “It’s a tribute to a happy childhood and to a feeling of nostalgia. Many of us hold on to something special and meaningful that we grew out of but still remember fondly. The Gone series is exactly that – it’s aimed at adults, not kids”.
The film E.T. was released in 1982, the same year that Whatshisname was born. Like many children, he remembers it as being a bit scary at the beginning but by the end, it was deeply moving especially for young viewers, who could relate to the deep friendship between E.T. and Elliot. It was one of very few movies of that time where action revolved around a child and there were almost no adults present which made it very relatable,
The innocence, kindness, and friendliness of the alien and its connection with Elliot, and their impactful relationship helped shape not only Whatshisnames' worldview but also many other children who were moved by the movie's ending. The moment E.T. he has to say goodbye to Elliot was the first experience of loss for many of us, and even as adults, it's hard not to remember that moment with a lump in the throat. This is what makes Whatshisname's 'Gone Home' such a powerful piece, as it recalls that tender moment of farewell.
Star Wars droids C-3PO and R2D2 are one of the greatest duos in the history of cinema for many, and like E.T., the two friendly characters have lingered in so many people's memories for a very long time mostly due to their unconventional looks and behaviour, plus their quirky friendship. Because the Star Wars series of movies, and the Star Wars cinematic universe are such massive events, they mean so much to so many people, and are associated with warm memories of family and friends.
“They both bring back the nostalgia of my family gathering in front of the telly, me and my brother fighting for a seat, followed by all of us watching together," remembers Whatshisname. "Even though the droids became iconic figures in pop culture, I simply remember them as those two robots from family movie nights.”
Yoda is another memorable character in the Star Wars franchise. His unusual looks and funny way of talking were the features that made him unforgettable. However, his spirituality and wisdom – as well as his superpowers - made him an icon. Yoda's knowledge and experience means that he has a deep impact on the characters in the films, and in the minds of fans, who can also learn from his famous sayings, uttered in his own inimitable fashion.
"Much like the R2D2 and C-3PO, Yoda always reminds me of the good times of sitting too close to the television and my mum saying: "You’ll ruin your eyes if you sit that close!" Another fond memory is the constant arguments with my peers at primary school about who Yoda really is. 'Is it a goblin, is it an ogre or an alien mixed with a Gremlin?' Good times!”
Whatshisname's 'Gone I Am' makes us think about how we have to grow up, move on and make our own decisions, perhaps inspired by the wisdom of Yoda, which we learned in our earlier days.
24/03/2022Our monthly series of art insights is brought to you by Washington Green Fine Art’s founder, Glyn Washington. This month, we hear why Whatshisname is most definitely a name to remember!
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