Rangers Lundqvist Celebrity Masks Being Auctioned Off
Henrik Lundqvist may still be out of action after taking a shot to the throat, but that hasn’t stopped the New York Rangers star from having a positive impact on two important charities.
With some help from his long-time personal painter and fellow Swede David Gunnarsson of DaveArt, Lundqvist teamed up with some celebrity friends to design a series of one-of-a-kind masks that are now being auctioned off to the public, with all proceeds benefitting The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation and the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
The celebrity mask designers included Mario Batali, Michael J. Fox, Tiesto, Jeff Gordon and John McEnroe, and each mask was featured as part of a new six-episode TV series on MSG Network called “The Mask with Henrik Lundqvist.” Below are images of the six masks that will be auctioned off for both charities.
Let’s start with McEnroe’s mask, which was featured in the second episode:
The 1980s rock-and-roll theme probably isn’t surprising to those who know McEnroe and Lundqvist play in a band together. It features tributes Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton on the right side, a skull designed by McEnroe (complete with is signature headband and big hair in the 80s), and a tennis racquet and goalie stick crossed on the chin. Lundqvist surprised his friend by adding the fiery McEnroe’s famous “You Can’t Be Serious” line, which was usually directed heatedly at the umpires of hit matches, on the forehead.
Next up is the mask designed by chef Mario Batali:
“It´s not so often I include pizzas and tomotoes on a mask,” Gunnarsson wrote on his Facebook page. “And the cartoon version of Mario on the side we made with a little funny twist, his look is a little bit inspired by another Mario guy from Italy.”
That would me Super Mario, as you can see on the left.
According to the MSG show, Batali’s design idea was an image of him riding his Vespa in his signature orange Crocs, down the hill of an exploding Mount Vesuvius while holding a basket of tomatoes.
Batali also wanted to include one of his great loves, pizza, along with the saying “Pizza is truth.” Henrik proposed juxtaposing the Italian side of the mask with a New York side to reflect Batali and his hometown, which is why the left side of the mask features the Brooklyn Bridge and Little Italy’s cross streets of Mott and Grand and Batali’s restaurant, Babbo.
The third mask was co-designed by Tiesto, a famous Dutch-born DJ and record producer. According to MSG, the “theme behind the Tiesto mask was finding the perfect balance between the similarities and differences of Tiesto and Henrik’s worlds. Both hailing from Scandinavia, the two share similar cultures and histories, which they wanted to incorporate as a main focal point in the mask.”
It paid homage to their new roots in Las Vegas, New York, and Stockholm, and features a tribute to Old New York, or New Amsterdam as it was first named, and the first governor, who was from the Netherlands, as a statue:
The Michael J. Fox mask focuses on his “Back to the Future” movie series, with the classic poster from the first movie on the left side and a comical play on the actor’s last name driving a DeLorean on the right side:
The Jeff Gordon mask features the driver’s iconic car number “24” painted on the chin, flames on the front, checkered flags, a Stanley Cup and Sprint Cup, and a picture of Gordon himself:
Last, but certainly not least, is a tribute to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).
Lundqvist and the FDNY decided to make the mask a tribute to the city they call home.
It includes the city skyline, focusing on the Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty, and the newly finished Freedom Tower. The mask also features “343” on the chin piece to honour firefighters who lost their lives as a result of 9/11, a “Rescue 1” 150th anniversary patch, and a Rescue 1 Fire truck.
You can see more images and details of all the masks, several of which were worn by Lundqvist in a game before the injury, at the auction website. And for more of Gunnarsson’s great artwork check out his website, Twitter feed, and Instagram.