Hanksy is an anonymous artist and parodist based in New York City. He is best recognized for making humorous, pun-themed work related to popular culture icons and putting those images out on the street. In one of his most remarkable works, Hanksy combined the body of Banksy's rat and a cartoon version of Tom Hanks face. This was image he ever pasted on the side of a building in Little Italy, NYC. It all started as a joke just to make friends laugh, but it suddenly went viral on social media and encouraged young artist to create more of popular culture mash-ups. It was 2011, since then Hanksy created hundreds of images.
"Hanksy has always been an offshoot of my everyday personality. I could never live in a world that was 100% pun and lols, but my humor definitely drifts along the dad joke river. But a good chunk of my work and success is based in production. I’m still a wide-eyed kid from the Midwest and I love to make things as big and as crazy as I can. From my Surplus Candy series to my Dump Trump campaign, I’d like to see how far I can take the little street joke I haphazardly made five years ago."
Hanksy has his own "recipe" for success. Combination of Banksy + Tom Hanks = successful street art and popularity. He has always been well aware of this winning combo, he told the New York Times.
"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."
"I was created for the internet. 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."