Interview: Street Artist HANKSY Talks to Bowery Boogie

Posted on: January 10th, 2012 at 10:18 am by

Since arriving on the scene last year with a Mulberry Street paster, Hanksy has certainly turned heads and elicited laughs with his clever cultural mash-ups. Each piece is an irreverent mixture of both graffiti and pop culture – Tom Hanks movies and Banksy street art. The latest such work was spotted where it was first discovered, channeling both A League of Their Own and “Peeing Dog.”

In anticipation of the forthcoming installation at the Krause Gallery this Friday, we contacted the elusive street artist to learn more about his work.

BOWERY BOOGIE: Describe your ultimate mission.

HANKSY: To win an Academy Award in Hollywoodland for a cinematic ruse which details out the artistic charades of a certain mustached eccentric. Exit Through The Gump Shop will feature myself and Mrs. CerebralCleanse and the escalating Charlie Wilson’s Turf War between the two of us.

BB: What was the spark or inspiration behind mashing Hanks and Banksy?

HANKSY: I’m known to be a huge fan of the late Bronx rapper Christopher Lee Rios.

BB: Why bomb the LES?

HANKSY: When I was younger I used to tape pen-on-paper doodles up on my bedroom bulletin boards and walls. One can look at it that way. The Lower East Side is where I live and work and I’m just trying to dress up its walls a bit.

BB: How many Hanksy pieces have you created, and which is your favorite?

HANKSY: All told, I’ve probably created a couple dozen. Many of which have never seen the light of day let alone graced a decrepit LES brick facade. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn good milk sour, so I’ve timed out my work over the past year as to not saturate the market.

While You’ve Got Mail isn’t one of Tom’s bests, its title works nicely when mashed with “Fast Food Caveman” by Banksy. “You’ve Got Male” was put up in Chicago last December.

BB: So far, what has been the response to your work in graffiti circles?

HANKSY: I’m the Dane Cook of the street art world.

BB: How do you feel about graffiti artists going commercial a la Shepard Fairey?

HANKSY: Times and things are changing and people are able to make money in ways they weren’t able to before. Why shouldn’t Shepard Fairey make mountains of cash from his sometimes misappropriated revolutionary imagery? Maybe we all should. And if you’re hard-pressed for sticker ideas, you can always google “dead WWF superstars.”

BB: Is it selling out by going the gallery route?

HANKSY: I know it doesn’t seem like it as of late, but traditionally January has been known to be quite cold and I see nothing wrong with viewing art in a climate controlled room.

BB: Favorite Tom Hanks movie?

HANKSY: Tie between The ‘Burbs and Joe Versus the Volcano. Comedic Tom Hanks is the best Tom Hanks.

BB: Amen!

Photo Credit: Patrick Fahrner

The opening reception for the installation begins at 7:00 pm at 149 Orchard Street, and will remain open through the end of the month.  200 Tom Hanks masks will be handed out, and his son, Colin, is rumored to be attending.

Recent Stories

CM Chin speaking at Two Bridges environmental scoping session, Feb. 2017
LES Community Group Slams CM Chin for Colluding with Developers, Demands She Step Down

The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side is demanding that Councilwoman Margaret Chin step down. The grassroots organization, which counts more than a dozen other local groups in its ranks, claims that the politician is firmly in the pocket of big-money developers. That’s not a stretch, either. One need only have attended […]

allen-street-hotel-update-2_wm
9-Years-Stalled ‘Allen Street Hotel’ Back from the Dead with New Renderings (and Window Panels)

Against the odds, one of the longest stalled projects on the Lower East Side – it should be a punchline – just returned to life. Back from the dead, it seems, the sixteen-story Allen Street Hotel now has some new flair to discuss, the first real progress onsite since February 2011. This single window panel on the […]

beckenstein-galerie-perrotin-orchard_wm
‘Galerie Perrotin’ Opens at Orchard Street’s Beckenstein Building Tomorrow

Over at 130 Orchard Street, gone is the plywood and daily train of dumpsters at curbside. This gallery is ready to roll. Only partially complete – construction has been ongoing since the fall – the ambitious new outpost of Galerie Perrotin debuts tomorrow at the Beckenstein building on Orchard Street. The ground floor of the five-level showroom […]

ludlow-fight-dl
Sunday Night’s Boozy Brawl at The DL was the 2nd Since February

It was a boozy brunch that ended in a brawl twelve hours later. And now the fallout. Sunday evening, shortly after 11pm, a crowd outside The DL turned violent. Surveillance footage released by the 7th Precinct shows that the altercation escalated when two women began hitting each other, one of whom was violently pushed to […]

100norfolk-glass-1_wm
12-Story Cantilevered Condo at 100 Norfolk Undresses to Reveal its Glass

‘Tis the season for disrobing … for several neighborhood project sites. The latest is the 12-story cantilevered condo development at 100 Norfolk Street, which began the piecemeal removal of scaffolding yesterday. Underway since early 2013, the multimillion-dollar residential development rivals its neighbor Blue for most assaulting on the eyes. (Guess that’s what happens when there’s “little […]