Barcelona-based art collective Hungry Castle have found a novel way to pay tribute to classic soul singer Lionel Richie, building a five-meter inflatable sculpture of his head that plays his hit song “Hello.” The crew raised over $15,000 to fund the project through Kickstarter, and Lionel will be touring festivals in the UK this summer and giving fans the opportunity to sleep inside.
We talked to art director Killian Cooper.
Metro: With this massive head, are you saying that Lionel Richie is arrogant?
Cooper: We’re not criticizing him. The main inspiration was the end of the ‘Hello’ music video, which is a little disturbing when he is technically stalking a blind girl, who sculpts a bust of his head.
What impact will it have on people? Do you expect romance inside the head?
There are two Australian guys traveling from Melbourne who bid £1,000 to spend a night in the head. It will be full on luxury in there, decked out with champagne, so I expect romance. Maybe they will bring girls in or just get to know each other better.
Festival-goers can be a rough crowd. Are you worried about vandalism?
Yes, there will always be people who want to attack that kind of thing, like mascots who wear bear outfits. We will have overnight security but I don’t know if they would take a bullet for the head.
You’re touring a lot of busy outdoor events. How about Tahrir Square?
Not sure about Egypt but I like the idea of travelling in different countries with it and it saying hello to people.
What other heads might you do?
This is it. We’re focusing on Lionel Richie but doing other artistic projects with him – like a sculpture class with smaller heads. If I had to do another one? Mr T.
Is Lionel Richie going to sue you?
Well, new audiences are discovering his music so maybe he is grateful. He was interviewed about it so I think he sees it as a humorous tribute.