American Hangover: Interview with Tony Thunder

ART, INTERVIEWDusty GilpinComment

We're excited to announce that on July 5th we'll be hosting a special pop up art show by Tony Thunder dubbed 'American Hangover'! We've worked with Tony in the past and his artwork is amazing! He's got an energetic personalitym, and his artwork reflects the curiosities of Tony himself. We've never actually interviewed any of our artists, and to be honest, I've never really interviewed...anyone! I knew that I wouldn't be able to communicate Tony's passionate thoughts and personality for this artshow through a usual blog, so I'm happy to introduced to you Tony himself in his own words. I got to sit down with Tony and briefly pry into the mind of this extremely talented artist. Come out to the show July 5th for an awesome art event, some exclusive Tony Thunder/Tree&Leaf collab tank tops, and an all out celebration of the 'American Hangover'!

Tony, tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and when did you start doing art?

I like to think im a pretty laid back guy. I enjoy skateboarding, pizza, hangin out with my son, family and friends and i also enjoy the occasional rowdy night. I was born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma it holds a special place in my heart. i started doing art when i was about 3 years old in day care, i rememberer how crazy the markers smelt and i loved it ( i dont think we were suppose to using those markers at that age) i would draw stick figures with circle feet it was awesome. its funny my sons going to that daycare now.

What influenced your art early on? What most influences your art now?

Cartoons, life and making my friends laugh and now...cartoons, life and making my friends laugh.

That was a great answer!


Next question, how has Oklahoma City influenced your art?

Man i met soo many different people that seriously changed the way i think about art. it was awesome when i did the Made You Look art show in 2008, because it opened up a new world for me. i was like other people do this too?! before i only had like 3 friends that we'd sit around a table for hours and draw which was fun as hell but doing that show i saw people were taking their art serious and i was like alright this is what i should be doing and thats how to do it.

Explain your thoughts behind the 'American Hangover' theme.

Well, i was thinking (in my own 23 years of experience..) on the 4th of July you wake and no one has to work, so you call up your homies and family and you get together a BBQ and you go buy a ton of fire works then you hit up the liquor store and stock up on booze and then you just let go all day then when night hits you go watch fireworks and then you continue to get full flavor in the rowdiness throwing fireworks at your friends, shotgunning beers, taking shots, trying your best to start "accidental" wildfires and by the end of the night your walking around trying to fight those friends you called over to your BBQ and you got no pants on and the rest is history.. well the next day you wake up and you got the worse hangover ever because you thought you would pay your respects to America by getting black out drunk and acting a fool the night before and that sir is an "American Hangover".

That is amazing. So you, will be experiencing a pure unadultered 'American Hangover' at your show?

Ah not me personally sadly, health won't permit any drinking this year for the 4th, but I'm sure some people there will be experiencing the "American Hangover"

Besides the general titles and subjects, tell us a little about the symbols, numbers, and subtle words used in your pieces.

I really cant explain the symbols, numbers and words used in my art.. it's secrets buried deep inside my brain, that come out in my art.. sometimes I'm like where the hell did that come from. It sucks when people ask me to explain stuff at artshows.. im like uhhhhh...

Alright, keep your secrets to yourself! What about this; do you listen to music when you produce art, if so, who or what do you listen to?

Ohh yeah! i got to listen to music when im making art, it has really been i huge inspiration for my art. Man when i was younger Modest Mouse would bring out everything in me art wise it was awesome. Now i listen to everything, right now its alot of Queens of the Stone Age but usually i listen to Interpol, David Bowie, Gorillaz, Iggy Pop, Joy Division, Deer Hunter, Black Lips, Radiohead, Animal Collective, Pixies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. those are the 'go to' bands then a bunch of random bands.

That's great! Why should people come out to 'American Hangover' on July 5th, and where can people find more information about your work?

I mean 'pshh' why woudn't they want to come? just kidding they should come because it's gonna be a fun rowdy time and thats all that matters. i got some fresh colorful product for them to feast their hungry eyes upon and im gonna get some hotdogs to feast their hungry stomachs upon. I'm working really hard on this one, while dealing with some painful health problems but it'll all be worth it when i get to see people enjoying and getting a good laugh out of my art, because in end; for me, thats what its all about. GET ROWDY! •


Thanks to Tony for the interview, we're super excited to host his show, and hope you'll join us for a cool 4th of July after party! Find more of Tony's work HERE!