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

Those Iconic Village Voice News Boxes Disappeared from the Streets

The Village Voice news boxes have seemingly disappeared from the city streets. So swift was the apparent removal, you may not have even noticed. The disappearance comes roughly two months after the weekly publication announced that its print edition would cease to exist. Indeed, the final physical issue ran on September 20, with Bob Dylan […]

‘RISE Coffee’ Unveils New Takeout Window at Dudley’s on Orchard Street

Nearly two years after its streetside debut beside the A. Turen boutique, RISE Coffee is expanding. The company just colonized a new takeout window south of the Delancey Divide. RISE Coffee, particularly the nitro cold brew, is now available from the window of Dudley’s Deli at 85 Orchard Street. Twin boards now flank the spot, […]

La Caverna on Rivington Street Proposes Expansion into 3-Level Nightclub

La Caverna on Rivington Street is eyeing an expansion on Rivington Street that would create a multilevel compound. The large office space at 124 Rivington Street – operational headquarters for the Bluecore e-commerce business since April 2015 – has been up for grabs for more than a year. For much of that time, the landlord […]

Revived ‘Lam Zhou’ Dumpling Mecca Opens on the Bowery

Chinatown dumpling darling Lam Zhou reopened this past Wednesday, returning to the ranks of the living with a much larger footprint. New headquarters is now at 40 Bowery, with a sign proclaiming that menu and ownership remains the same. The upgrade still preserves that no-frills setup, yet on a grander scale. Its long and narrow […]

10-Story ODA Condos Amidst Ascent on Chrystie Street

Ten stories of additional upper-crust glitz is on its way for the Chrystie Street midsection… Indeed, the ODA-designed condo at 165 Chrystie Street started its ascent last month, and is progressing upward quite quickly. As of now, the structure is sitting at over six stories. This sudden burst in activity follows more than a year […]