The above bust of Conor McGregor has been doing the rounds on the internet today, and Balls.ie caught up with the man who created it, Jean-Baptiste Seckler.
Hello, Jean-Baptiste. Thanks for talking to us. First of all, how did you get into sculpting?
I'm from Paris, France and the face of Mike Tyson gave me the desire to begin sculpture 20 years ago.
Great. Who are your greatest influences, and what style did you use to sculpt Conor McGregor?
I love boxers faces, this is the most interesting for me. I have done Ali, Tyson, Holyfield, Mormeck and Mc Gregor. For McGregor, I was looking for something rough, like a stone.
I also love Auguste Rodin, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Ron Mueck, Ousmane Sow.
Why did you decide to do a sculpture of McGregor?
Because of the personality, the power of the guy. Mike Tyson was my favorite boxer and he's a friend now. I love real people, with charisma and intensity.
When did you first hear of McGregor?
I saw a fight of his live in Las Vegas. I didn't know him before and immediately understood his power. He has everything to be and stay at the top: mentality; speed; endurance; passion and good people around him.
What material did you use for the bust of McGregor, and is this material representative of his character?
The material is plasticine, it is soft so is not a good representation of him. I want to reproduce the piece in bronze! That is a good material for him. I will be there for the fight in March and will have a reason and also hope to give him this. Now is not the time for bronze, I will do it in March.
Wow, hope you have a good time in Vegas and don't mind Ceasars' Palace. He is famous for mouthing off, so what part of McGregor's face did you enjoy sculpting the most?
The fire in the eyes! The tattoo was nice to do too...
I don't know if you are aware, but one of the most famous historical attractions in Dublin is the Trinity College Library. The Library is the largest single-chamber library in Europe and is lined with busts of famous thinkers including William Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle and Isaac Newton. Do you think your bust of McGregor belongs in the library along with these people?
Yes, definitely because he is famous, he is "notorious", and he shakes the world.
Well, we can't argue with that. Sculptors of the past have been influenced by great warriors and heroes, for example, Michaelangelo's David or The Terracotta Army in China. Could McGregor prove to be such an inspiration for artists and sculptors decades or centuries in the future?
Yes. He deserves a sculpture, he's a gladiator of our time, and a star and a winner like the Gladiators of Roma 2000 years ago.
But what if McGregor is defeated against Rafael Dos Anjos, will you be making a sculpture of Dos Anjos? Or will you destroy the McGregor sculpture in rage and disappointment?
No, I choose Mc Gregor from my heart... Any other sculpture of MMA fighter should be a command from that fighter. Even if He loses the fight, this guy is a winner.
That's good enough for us. Thanks, Jean-Baptiste!
Jean-Baptiste has a number of works on display at Madame Tussauds, you can follow him on twitter here. While we are at it, here is a closer look at Jean-Baptiste's work of Mike Tyson: