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Yoda and Brisk Iced Tea? A seemingly unlikely alliance this might be

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, at 10:48AM
artwork by Tristan Eaton

This painting is acrylic on wood and was created in 2012 by Tristan Eaton, one of the event's featured artists.

What do iced tea and "Star Wars" have in common? More than you'd think. Thanks to the Brisk Iced Tea- sponsored Star Wars gallery, fans of the epic George Lucas classic can see contemporary "Star Wars" art while getting thoroughly caffeinated.

Lipton's tea brand is launching "Brisk Bodega," a pop-up gallery appearing at 722 N. Figueroa St for one day only this Friday. Celebrating the "Star Wars" legacy and culture, this art show will also include memorabilia and props from the film, "Episode I: The Phantom Menace."

The highlight of the show is the art though - and the artwork featured in this story is Tristan Eaton's acrylic on wood piece. Eaton was born in Hollywood and he's been living in New York for the past 14 years.

He's worked with Brisk in the past, designing tea cans and participating in the company's first "bodega" event in New York.

"I've always approached every advertising project I've done as an art project," he said in regards to the fine art element he brings to commercial projects.

The Brisk "Star Wars" show has an appropriate theme: the light side versus the dark side.

Although many artists may gravitate to the dark side because of it's visual capacities and it's inclusion of characters like Darth Vader, Eaton said, he embraced the light side.

His painting is a portrait of Yoda.

"One of the best icons of all six films," Eaton said.

But in this portrait, Yoda is made up of a variety of other Star Wars characters and elements to tell a larger story.

Eaton said he normally doesn't do themed art shows (and there are a lot of them), but this one has an undeniable added bonus: The art from this show will be stored in the Lucasfilm archives afterwards.

And, Eaton said he has his own nostalgic connection to "Star Wars." He has "a million memories" of playing with the series' action figures on the beach in Santa Monica, struggling to keep from losing them in the sand.

Now, Eaton is the president and creative director of Thunderdog Studios Inc., New York-based designer toy brand and creative agency. He's in L.A. for the week for a variety of art shows and he even got to paint a Gibson guitar that will have a home for the next year on the Sunset Strip. (The guitar has a collage background and in the foreground, a portrait of his mom from the 1960s.)

Although the emphasis of the Brisk show is the artwork, the iced tea label rears its head for some memorable cross-promotion. There will be a "Brisksaber" game (where your finger acts as a light saber), samples of the iced tea handed out in special "Star Wars" cans and even specific artworks inspired by Brisk.

This show fits into Brisk's 2012 national marketing campaign where they join forces with the upcoming 3D release of "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace."

“At Brisk, we’re inspired by creativity and always looking for fresh and authentic ways to work with artists — from emerging talent to seasoned pros, like those at Lucasfilm,” said Eric Fuller, brand director of Brisk Iced Tea, in a statement.

The Figueroa gallery is open to the public from 3:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday and from 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. the event turns into 21 and over with a DJ and an open bar.

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