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

Enrique Cruz (L), Photo: Clayton Patterson
Tonight is the Vote for Gigi Li’s Replacement as CB3 Chair

Community Board 3 nominations have been in since late last month. The fifty members of the advisory body will pick their next leader – the Chairperson seat – at the full board meeting tonight. (The public has no say in the matter.) For the last several years, its been Gigi Li atop the heap. Stepping […]

1ludlow-fire-1
Scenes from Saturday’s Rooftop Fire at 1 Ludlow Street [PHOTOS]

Herewith, some photos from Saturday’s rooftop fire at 1 Ludlow Street. The unique structure at this corner – located at the three points of Division, Canal, and Ludlow Streets – caught fire but was quickly extinguished by an armada of first responders. Word on the street is that the flames may have sparked due to a […]

347bowery-update
Retail Space at Annabelle Selldorf’s Bowery Condo Hits the Market

It took five days after sales went live this month for a buyer to snap up the 4,000 square-foot penthouse atop Annabelle Selldorf’s 13-story Bowery condo. The literal crown jewel is currently under contract for a whopping $17 million, which annihilates records for the area. Two weeks later, the 8,439 square-foot retail space in the base […]

football-cafe-gallery-1
Football Cafe Seeks Further Appreciation with its Sidecar Gallery Space on Forsyth Street

Opening a soccer-related coffee shop on lower Forsyth Street was an exercise in synergy. The Football Cafe, as it’s officially known, is a popular pit stop for local club players on Lions Gate Field across the street (at Grand). Ten months deep, the refueling station is increasing its visibility on the block. Indeed, that antique-looking […]

orchard-night-chinatown-soup
Chinatown Beatdown: Canal Street Brawl Sparked Saturday Night [VIDEO]

WTF is going on at Chinatown Soup? We thought this was an “arts space for the neighborhood,” not a breeding ground for violence. For the second time in as many weeks, we hear about another troublesome occurrence near the gallery-events space. Last Friday night, a birthday party turned into mayhem after rumors circulated that rapper Theophilous […]