Unruly Stowaway has a conversation with the Etsy artist who created the ‘Andre the Giant in the Mountains’ art and other Wrestling Gods collages.
About two months back a friend of mine texted me a photo of the Andre the Giant art with the caption, “Andre the Giant in The French Alps.” The landscape is definitely not the French Alps, but I found the photo hilarious all the same. And pretty fucking cool.
(Andre the Giant was French and billed as “The Giant from The French Alps,” because it sounded better, and was more distinguishable than “The Giant from the Small French Town That Nobody Has Ever Heard Of.”)
It’s been about twenty years since I was last actually into wrestling, but I still hold a nostalgia for much of its iconic imagery — especially the stuff from the late 80’s and early 90’s.
After almost dying of laughter I composed myself enough to wonder, where did this Andre the Giant image come from? And were there more?
I tracked the works back to the Etsy page Wrestling Gods and contacted the shop owner, Jack Edinger. Jack has been gracious enough to talk to Unruly Stowaway about his art. In this article we will splice some of his images in between each question.
Unruly Stowaway: These are tremendous. What do you call them? Collages? What gave you the idea?
Jack Edinger: I call them collages for sure. My wife runs an online vintage clothing store called Lipstick Dinosaur, so we were spending a lot of time in thrift stores and flea markets. I actually have seen similar ideas to this in the past but never with wrestling. I think a lot of art has inspirations taken from other ideas. I had seen thrift store paintings where people had added monsters into the landscapes.
I had also seen some funny memes where hulk hogan was big booting the twin towers, so those were kind of my inspirations. But I had never seen them done as these stoic grandiose images.
Wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts and his snake, Damien. (Possibly taking a bath.)
URSA: Those sound pretty great too, the monster ones. Which of your prints did you do first? How was the trial and error?
Jack: I’m a photographer by trade and always admired the painter or collagists because they didn’t need to coordinate with subjects or work on a computer to get their work done, so I was excited to do something tactile and hands on. The first ones I did were just on a computer, roughing the concept out. I had a fever at the time so I was kind of in a twisted state of mind, thinking they were really interesting. I showed a few friends and they thought they were legit so I found some thrift store images for maybe a dollar or two each and got to cutting and pasting. The first ones turned out really good actually!
Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant rumbling in the mountains.
URSA: After the cutting and pasting, how does the final product come together? Do you mind telling us more about your process?
Jack: The art is more planning and concept than it is any actual skill. Once the idea was kind of cemented, they all turned out cool. I do use a computer to make these in a way. I take a photo of the painting, then find the photo of the wrestler I want and scan it so I can resize it. I size the wrestler and place them in the scene digitally so I know the scale and placement will be perfect before reprinting and cutting out.
The Ultimate Warrior slamming a jobber into Lake Michigan.
URSA: I see the four different images on your Etsy page. Are those your first or your best?
Jack: I’ve made maybe 30 or so of these. Some better than others. The first one was of Andre (the Giant) and (Hulk) Hogan in this sort of remnants of the Roman Colosseum, and it was really great! The ones that are up online now are ones that I think turned out the best.
Most of them were done in a few big bursts of inspiration so there isn’t a lot of gap between pieces.
The Undertaker in the woods doing creepy Undertaker things…
URSA: Are there any legalities with doing something like this? Has WWE noticed or said anything?
Jack: WWE and Etsy have given me a hard time about copyright infringement. Some they seem to be okay with and others they have made me take down. The ones in my shop now unfortunately are the ones they seem cool with.
I get that I am appropriating the likeness of someone else’s property, but I think the whole world is sort of a copy of someone else’s idea, so its annoying that they’ve come at me.
The Four Horsemen celebrating in front of The Cinderella Castle at Disney. (One too many Horsemen?)
URSA: The image that brought me to your page, and still my favorite, is Andre the Giant in the mountains collage. The instant I saw it I thought it was equal parts hilarious, genius, and awesome. Do you have plans for some more?
Jack: I do have plans for more! I have about ten really good landscapes in the basement that Id like to make. Getting shut down by the man kind of stung my creativity for a minute, but I’m sure I’ll get back to making more. Yeah, they are supposed to be fun, ya know. Just a simple idea that you can read deeper into if you choose.
I wonder if they only work with classic guys or if a series with CM Punk or Daniel Bryan, etc. would have the same effect emotionally?
*Note – Above is the full version of the feature image for this article which was cropped.
URSA: There is definitely something about the classics. Modern images would probably have a definition that would not translate, and also the emotional connection to the classic wrestlers. I don’t follow wrestling now, but I loved the 80’s and 90’s stuff. It was different then. Stronger personalities – larger than life, and that seems to be how this translates.
The wrestler Earthquake creating an earthquake.
URSA: Exactly. Well, don’t let the man get you down Jack. These are great. Thanks for talking to us.
You can find many of these prints available for sale in Jack’s Etsy Shop, Wrestling Gods.
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