Thank You X is an elusive artist that leaves his signature art around the city when most people are still asleep. The streets are his canvas and paint is his weapon of choice. His admiration for Andy Warhol and the passion behind his art makes him one of the most interesting and talented creators in the Street Art world. While his identity is almost always kept hidden, I was able to interview him on his thoughts about his work and how he views the future of Street Art. This is his story…
Q. How did you get into Street Art?
A. I was always super into art. Someone spray painted “f**k rules” on a wall by my apartment when I was younger and it made me realize anyone can speak their mind and put it out on the streets. In 2001 or so I started seeing Obey stickers and posters EVERYWHERE and that also was a huge inspiration. I just love art. Putting it on the streets is just a way for me to interact with people that wouldn’t normally see my art. Plus, I barely ever sleep so I figured I might as well roam the city at night.
Q. What is the significance behind your name “Thank You X”?
A. Thank You X started as just a Thank You. I wanted to thank Andy Warhol for inspiring me as well as millions of others. A lot of people ripped his stuff off or were inspired, but I never saw someone come out and say thank you to him. So I did. The name Thank You X just stuck and bloggers and galleries started referring to me as that.
Q. Andy Warhol is a recurring theme in your work. How did you learn about Warhol and how does he influence your art?
A. I originally found out about Andy Warhol through my mom who loved art. She showed me Warhol, Dali, and a bunch of others. I loved his ideas and I became super intrigued by his work ethic. He was crazy, but brilliant at the same time.
Q. Why is your face blurred or covered in interviews and photos?
A. I used to be scared that my work would find out that I was up ‘till at night putting art around town. But I quit my job and just do art now, so I no longer am worried about people finding out who I am. Unless you’re a cop… because sometimes the art I put up isn’t admired by the fuzz.
Q. Is there a message behind each of your pieces?
A. Each piece has its own message. I don’t like to give too much info on what inspired me to make a certain piece because I feel that takes the fun out of it. I could create something because I fell in love and someone else could see it and relate to it because they just got a raise at work. I want people to have their own message for my work.
Q. In your field of art, is imitation the sincerest form of flattery or is it just annoying?
A. Well, there is no doubt that imitation is everywhere. It’s annoying but you can’t really live dwelling on what other people are doing wrong. I keep a positive mental attitude (PMA) and live life worrying about what I’m doing.
Q. What does Street Art mean to you?
A. “Street Art” has become the main stream term that everyone uses. I like to think that I create art. Sometimes I make it for the street and sometimes I put it in a gallery. I just enjoy the rush from being out at climbing buildings while everyone sleeps. I’m kind of like ghetto Batman except I don’t really save peoples lives or have a cool costume. I guess I’m not like Batman at all. Damn.
Q.What direction do you think Street Art will take in the next 5 years?
A. I feel like it goes in waves. New amazing artists are popping up every day. It is becoming more main stream of course, but I think that’s ok. I think Banksy will tag the white house. I think Shepard Fairey will tell us who to vote for next. I think AJL will date Vanessa Hudgens and hopefully I will sell a piece of art to Ryan Seacrest.
For More Information On This Artist:
Check out the KIIS gallery for more photos from Thank You X
Photo Jen Inc
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