Church-ill – Smurf War
Art collector Selim Varol is now an art creator, too. His debut work, Church-ill - Smurf War, is a commentary on political history and current events. The first color way is "Smurf" blue, with other color variants planned - Neon Yellow and Bright Pink (20 pieces each) as a tribute to the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. Available via Toykio.de, the rootlets vinyl bust is limited to 77 pieces. It measures 16" in height and can be purchased for 249€ (about $310) with free worldwide shipping.
The idea of creating his own piece came about two years ago when he planned to spend a weekend in London on behalf of art: As a German national holding a Turkish passport, Varol's journey began at the British consulate. He had to apply for a visa. The processing fee amounted to a pricey 250 euros. The documents that he needed on hand to gain entry were overwhelming: tax demands and declarations dating back several years. When Varol questioned the necessity of so much red tape for a simple weekend in London, he was greeted with a snooty response: "You cannot enter the U.K. if you don't provide the requested documents."
Varol's journey to the U.K. didn't go beyond the British consulate in Germany, but his thoughts on the application process took him much further - to the question of how traveling can be so challenging in such a globalized world. Smurf War Church-ill, a bust of a "punked" Winston Churchill, serves as a commentary on this state of affairs: Under the rule of Britain's greatest statesman, the nation never lost a war - except against Turkey. The bust is also a homage to British street artist Banksy, who has achieved international recognition with his politically-charged graffiti and who holds a similarly pivotal place in Selim Varol's collection. Banksy's 2003 work, Turf War, is a black and white stencil of Churchill with a green mohawk. His work was influenced by a anonymous vandal who defaced Churchill's statue at Parliament Square during the May Day riots back in the year 2000.