Mike Leavitt is a visual artist based out of Seattle who says he can do anything. “I paint houses, I paint tiny little landscapes on pennies, I frame walls and decks, and I carve articulating wood statues.” Leavitt said. “I will wire a kitchen circuit, and I sculpt little figurines in clay. I repair leaky pipes, and I’ve sewn celebrities into bath towels.”
As part of his HiPop project (“pop art, but with a soul,” he says), Leavitt has created “King Cuts,” a line of statues of the “16 all-time best film directors” merged, melded and morphed into their movies. The statues were recently exhibited at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City.
Described as both satire and devotion, the statues are simultaneously beautiful, clever, intriguing and off-putting. (We’re talking about you, naked James Cameron.) Leavitt puts an immense amount of work into each one: all of the statues are either 18-inches tall or wide, sculpted out of wood and clay, and painted with acrylics.
Some are a combination of multiple movies, like Cameron, who is Avatar, Aliens, Titanic and Terminator, while others are more simple, like Hitchcock, who is only represented by The Birds. And not all of the references are obvious on first glance, like Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange eye makeup or Tarantino’s missing right ear.
If you’re interested in buying a statue of your own, you can contact the gallery here. About half of Leavitt’s original “King Cuts” wood carvings are still available, including Miyazaki, Burton, Lynch, Anderson, Scorsese and Cameron. “I’m also working on releasing mini 3D-print editions from my ‘King Cuts’ original wood carvings that have been sold: Hitchcock, Lucas, Spielberg, Lucas and Tarantino,” Leavitt tells us. “I’m releasing Hitchcock and Lucas on Halloween. Spielberg and Kubrick will follow soon after.”
You can read more about the making of each statue on Leavitt’s website. Click through the gallery above to check out “King Cuts”—the images and descriptions of each statue are courtesy of Leavitt.