Banksy’s artworks often appear in the most unexpected places, but who knew his works would even pop up in a galaxy far, far away?
French visual artist Thirsty Bstrd is known for using popular symbols and images as a means to express his satirical comments on society, politics, and consumerism.
One of his more recent works involves a crossover between Banksy and Star Wars. Using spray paint and stencils, the Paris-based creative mimicked Banksy’s iconic aesthetic, but with a twist – replacing the original characters with the ones from the Star Wars films.
For instance, for Banksy’s 2007 piece Mona Lisa Rocketlauncher, Thirsty Bstrd replaced the famous figure with Princess Leia. His other works include characters like Chewbacca, a Stormtrooper, and Han Solo.
Thirsty Bstrd was formerly the art director at his own creative agency. Before that, he also worked as a curator and organizer for many art exhibits held in Paris and Los Angeles.
We recently caught up with Thirsty Bstrd to find out more about his work.
“I’m a visual artist based in Paris. My work is mainly made of stencils, spray paint, and installations, which are featured in different art galleries in the UK, USA, and Japan.
“I don’t think I ever felt becoming an artist: being an artist is just being me. I’m a self-taught artist, drawing or creating in a spontaneous way since childhood. Creation has always been a natural way for me to express my ideas and thoughts about the world around us. I always felt like creating. That’s where my alias comes from; I’m just thirsty for creativity.
“My work is inspired by all aspects of today’s world and mostly its failings. Through my artworks, I elaborate a quirky vision of society around themes related to childhood, rebellion, consumerism, or even the art world.
“As a spectator, I like art that is attractive, clear, and understandable by everyone. And pop culture provides references that allow that.”
“My creative process may sound simple but it’s a lot about bringing my ideas to life. I draw my inspiration from all that surrounds me, from things I experience in life, from art exhibitions, subway advertisements, people, and travelling, which is for me the greatest source of inspiration.
“Ideas come towards us when we don’t look for it so as many creatives, I have notebooks full of ideas waiting to be used. I then work on my designs until I’m sure it expresses my idea the best possible way. Once again, I want it to be intelligible at the very first glance.”
“It started with that simple idea which is actually the main concept for the series: What if I mixed the Star Wars universe and Banksy’s artworks?
“I like to have fun when creating, and to use tools and references that I enjoy. Those two are actually ones of my favorites. Crossovers are something I’ve always really enjoyed in art. The point is to make it funny and relevant, to tell a different story based on powerful characters and symbols.
“Although this project is very pop, it’s still can be seen from different angles. There’s still a variety of subjects raised, even made with humour and lightness. I was also very interested to work on a series of designs for screen printing.”
“That’s the whole point! My purpose is to make art that is both funny and thought-provoking. As I said, even and especially with lightness. I’m not claiming I am more qualified than anyone to make people think. It’s just me trying to express my vision the most efficient way I can, so it could resonate in people minds. It’s such a strong sensation!
“For example, I heard a dad on an art fair explaining one of my In case of Bankruptcy pieces to his little girl, making her understand the value of an artwork (even removed from a wall) as art but also as a product of the art market.”
“I love a lot of different movies, from blockbusters to auteur films. I have a huge variety of tastes as long as it’s made with passion and talent. In terms of pure pop culture, I’d say my favorite films are Pulp Fiction, The Matrix, Terminator 2, Back to the Future, Goodfellas, Being John Malkovich, among many others!
“I love irony in creation so I always loved comedy based on parody, that makes fun of the establishment. For instance, the Naked Gun movies, Mel Brooks, South Park… Or more recently Bo Jack Horseman and Rick and Morty. I also love 90’s music videos from Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry. Real concentrates of pop references and creativity!
“Don’t know which ones I would work on next, but there will always be a little bit of all that in every project I’ll do!”