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The New York Times: “A Parodist Who Calls Himself Hanksy”

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Image via Hanksy's Instagram.
Image via Hanksy’s Instagram.

Hanksy just got his New York Times moment. The Lower East Side-centric, semi-anonymous street artist is the subject of a profile that went online a short time ago.  An excerpt:

This is a story about art in the age of social media — about anonymity and self-promotion, about feral cats and viral cat videos… “I was created for the Internet,” (Hanksy) said. “It’s memes in real life. I know how to use social media. I know what copy and what articles work, what is going to get clicks. Of course, America loves Tom Hanks, and America loves Banksy. I don’t want to lie and say I didn’t know what I was doing by putting the two on the street. I knew that if it eventually got leaked somewhere, or if I sent it to a website, it would get picked up and get hits.”

Hanksy was, of course, right about that, and now what started out as a fun creative outlet has become a whole lot more:

Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, said more was at stake in Hanksy’s visual gags. “It’s more than a pun,” she said. “Banksy’s work is hypermasculine and serious about its underground, tough, outlaw image. And Tom Hanks is just not that guy. So the humor is putting that identity on this hyper-butch material. It’s the revenge of the nerd. It has a vibe of bringing the discourse down a notch, calling out the seriousness of it.”

You can read the whole article here.

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