The Donald Trump presidential campaign inspired a lot of strong feelings across the country. Trump has been the subject of countless satirical pieces. One that became quite a sensation was a piece of art done on a wall in New York City. It was a mixture of Donald Trump and the poop emoji used on iPhones. It was called Dump Trump by those sharing it on social media. The artist says when asked about this piece: “I’m just anti-Trump. It’s not politics, it’s common sense.”
The artist who painted this is named Hanksy, and he is known in NYC as a lighthearted punster who thumbs his nose at the artistic elite. His signature is a clever mashup of two unrelated subjects. His name comes from a combination of Tom Hanks + Banksy. His first piece was a Banksy painting of a rat, except he added an image of Tom Hanks’s face to the rat. He pasted it onto a wall in Little Italy, and after he posted it to social media, it went viral. Thus Hanksy was born.
His first show was made of mashup pieces containing Banksy and Tom Hanks. His pieces sold for up to $2000.
The Krause Gallery represents Hanksy. He moved on from mixing Hanks and Banksy to pop culture wordplay. Examples include Ferrell Cats (a feline with the face of Will Ferrel) and Meth Rogan (Seth Rogan clearly posed as Heisenberg from Breaking Bad).
Hanksy doesn’t feel the need to be in competition with artists focusing on much deeper or more political messages in their street art. He describes his work as comical and lighthearted.
Hanksy has established a dedicated fanbase and has promoted himself very cleverly. For his first show full of Tom Hanks mashups, he served Whitman’s chocolates and Dr. Pepper as a reference to Forrest Gump. He also occasionally holds treasure hunts to find free copies of his work. In the future he plans to collaborate with other street artists in nine other major cities. Keep an eye out for Hanksy as he sweeps the nation.