Defacing American currency and the pop art of William Thompson

Defacing American currency and the pop art of William Thompson

CultureOctober 21, 2015 By Simon Berger

Will Thompson is a Boulder-based artist who, like any bored American, likes to draw on money and make pop art. We tried to interview him about his techniques, but instead we ended up talking to him about women, strip clubs and cash. You know, the important stuff ...

Preferred Medium(s): Ballpoint pen, spray paint, acrylic

What inspires you?

"Lots of things, women, beauty, other artists, pop-culture, breaking rules, women …"

Money is a recurring theme in your work. What’s your intention in using it across so many pieces?

"When I look at money, all I see is a blank canvas. Money is something that everyone can recognize, which is why I use it in my work."

Why do you draw on money? Do you ever pay for stuff with cash you’ve painted on?

"Street art has become too mainstream, so I had to think of something new and different. My lovely manager brought me to a strip club. We put a lot of my dollar bills into circulation that
night …"

What makes you want to paint or draw something?

"Coffee and nicotine."

Your use of color is heavy-handed. What purpose does using so much color achieve?

"Color is powerful and can set the tone of a piece. It really amplifies the beauty in my artwork."

What ideas are you trying to explore with your work?

"Communication through artwork. I try to show my audience exactly what is going on inside my mind."

Is it more important that the viewer appreciate your technique or your message?

"Both. Good artists can paint a realistic picture, but great artists can communicate a message."

How do you want viewers to feel when they see your art?

"I want them to lose touch with reality."

There are a lot of pop culture influences in your work. Can you talk about your choice to incorporate those references into your pieces?

"It's a marketing strategy. I incorporate pop culture into my artwork because people can relate to it, and it can be recognized by the masses."

Has being an artist ever gotten you laid?

"My art is definitely a panty-soaker."