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.
Q. What is one thing you would like the public to know about you that they wouldn’t know?
A. I have new prints being released on my website very soon. Oh, and also that my mom is Banksy.
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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I recently came across an underground society of up and coming artists who created a forum to enhance their artistic abilities through collaboration. I interviewed Josue Iniguez who is one of the co-founders of this group they call Cosmosys. This is their story…
Q: Who came up with the concept for Cosmosys?
A: The Art Collective scene has been around since 2006, I believe the first group ever was DepthCore and they are still around. It's basically a lot of artists from around the globe who are into Digital Art, Photography, Audio and even Motion. These artists work on art works for around 3-4 months based on a certain theme such as freestyle, dream vs. reality, phobia etc. After that, we set up the exhibition on our website and our artists advertise the exhibition online, like on twitter, facebook, deviantart, behance etc. We do this so many people can see it. To many artists it's just a hobby, but for others it has become their career.
Q: How did it come together?
A: Our group came together in 2009. Co-Founders Jon Dalgir and Howard Winterson contacted me, Josue Iniguez, to design and develop a website and community for this new art collective. I agreed and we started from there and went public on
Q: How did you branch out to other artists?
A: Most of us came from gaming forums, or art forums where we would create small canvas art works called, signatures. A lot of us moved into larger art (bigger canvas) so when we actually made the group we already knew a couple of artist who were experienced in this field. We released exhibitions to the public and more artists heard about us and applied to become artists of Cosmosys.
Q: Would you consider your group to be an underground forum for artists?
A: Yes actually, we have a forum where artists can go and apply to be in our group or just post their art work so that we can critique it or give suggestions to them. We have seen over the past 2 years, artists who have no exposure and are very good at what they do through this application process. A lot of our artists show improvement in less than a year from joining our forum.
Q: How would you define your collective style?
A: Our collective style is based on a lot of different Digital Art styles which include; 3D Modeling, Vector, Vexel, Abstract, Digital Painting, Matte Painting, Photo Manipulations and even Hand Drawings. We also have some Conceptual Photography, and music, such as, house and dub step.
Q: What is your main goal with Cosmosys?
A: Our main goal is to show the world how much we love art. We don’t make money from doing this. We do it because we simply love Art. We also like to recruit artists who are experienced but have no exposure or artists who have potential so when we release our next exhibition they gain some exposure.
Q: Tell me about your online Exhibitions.
A: We release an exhibition every 3-4 months. We like to base our exhibitions on themes for example, our latest three exhibitions were; Experiments II, Havoc and Dream vs. Reality. Like I said, we display Digital art, Photography and even Music.
Q: Are there plans to ever host a gallery with your art pieces or will you stick to online showings?
A: We have thought about this and it would be really exciting for us, although it is very expensive to print over 40+ art pieces. Maybe getting a sponsor to help us with this would be great but for now, we're sticking to online exhibitions.
Q: Is there anything you want the public to know about Cosmosys that people are unaware of?
A: Yes, something very important is about 99.9% of our artists are self taught designers. They either learned by viewing tutorials online but most importantly they learned through experimenting on their own. They never went to any art school to learn how to use Photoshop or any other software. There are only a small percentage of our artists who are actually in art Universities now. Our Artists are very young and very talented with age ranges from 14-24 years of age. We are always accepting Digital Artists, Photographers and Musicians who meet our standards.
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