I want to take you back to November 28th, 2014. And while I’m sure many notable things happened on that Black Friday, there’s only two that we’re going to concern ourselves with. The first was the debut of the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, its brief footage favorably reminding fans of the original trilogy. And the second was the retro-ed release of the Air Jordan 6 Black/Infrareds, the black bodies of these sneakers with their red highlights immediately reminding artist Tracy Tubera of Darth Vader‘s visage. And, within the next month, Tubera had joined the two together for his Jordan Sith Infrareds print, a design that would evolve into the cast resin art toy we’ll be examining today.

A Brief History of Tracy Tubera

Now when it comes to Tracy Tubera, you might recognize his name from the plethora of creative endeavors he’s undertaken over the years. Maybe you know him as a member of the SevenOhFive (or SOL) crew, primarily remembered for the short comedic films these former graffiti artists created. Or maybe it’s his time at Vision Street Wear that you recall, when he was part of their shoe design team. Or perhaps, to you, he’s the mastermind behind the Chub City line from Jada Toys. But, most likely, you’d actually recognize him from the MTV reality series Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, back when he was the creative director of the Wild Grinders toy line and executive producer of the animated series.
And aspects from all these careers congealed into his most recent works. Imbuing his illustrations with crisp, sharp, and fluid lines, his aesthetic is a blending of comic book and urban art influences. As for the subject matter he frequently explores, it’s usually inspired by his sneakerhead fetishism for street footwear, or his passion for “geek chic” media, or both simultaneously. And, considering all this, it’s easy to see how the Jordan Sith Infrareds design flowed forth from his mind.
Tubera is also no stranger to designer toys, having worked on hand-painted pieces and factory-produced works sporadically since 2004. But, to me, his true art toy career didn’t start until 2014, the year that his Breaking Bad inspired Walt design became a resin sculptural edition. Having partnered with Mana Studios to produce this, Tubera would work with them again the following year on his Back to the Future tribute piece, Future Boy, and near the end of 2016 their Jordan Sith Infrareds collaboration was revealed.
Debuting in a color scheme based on Tubera’s original print, the Jordan Sith Infrareds design returned for 2017’s May the 4th in a metallic candy red version titled the Sith Edition. And the version we’re examining, The Light Side edition, made it’s debut at last year’s DesignerCon.

My Thoughts on the Jordan Sith Infrareds

Hand-crafted and hand-painted, these primarily white Jordan Sith Infrareds pieces employ a glossy finish on the helmet and gloves, really making them pop against the matte decoration on the body and cape. With every part of this sculpture flowing into the next, its fluidity really accentuates its action-ready stance, the transparent red blade of its lightsaber frozen in energized life.
But as beautiful as the overall form is, one’s eye can’t help but be drawn to the sneakers adorning its feet. Modeled after the Tinker Hatfield designed Air Jordan 6s in their Carmine coloration, the painted red paneling perfectly mirrors the lightsaber while the black detailing pops off the form by contrast. And Tubera added details to the sneakers to really bring cohesion to the piece, specifically how the top of the sneaker’s tongue has VADER written on it and the heel is adorned with the artist’s own Double T logo.

For more information on Tracy Tubera:
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