Hasworld, as he calls himself, the many masked artist has caught The Yokko’s attention.
He is an enigmatic street artist who keeps his biological name and face hidden behind a mask that emanates emotion. It’s clearly designed to be bittersweet, is reminiscent of 1930’s blackface animation, and has patterns covering its skin that conjure African, Greek, and Fauvist influences. And the work he creates is equally acerbic. It’s evidently all a not too loving commentary on the times we are living in, and he being of the socially critical and creative vanguard, has chosen to shun the falsehoods of personal-branding-by-way-of-perfection and instead hang in the stable with the others who share the clear rejection of the stage, like Banksy, Daft Punk, Sia, and Deadmau5. His artwork is haunting, morose and pop all at once. His main character is simply called “Phantom” – an entity who seems to have a broken heart and a swollen eye, yet who still manages to look surprisingly optimistic. This dichotomy is true for all of his work. It’s both bright and bittersweet. Hasworld paints original subjects as well as portraits of pop icons including Bart Simpson and Biggie Smalls, to make the point that all is not well in the world. Clearly there is a lot of symbolism in his work, but it requires in depth analysis to decipher it. He also has some really interesting animated work on his social media, which includes his original and equally haunting musical compositions.
words by MICHAEL TRONN
With collectors and galleries in search of Hasworld, we tracked him down to ask him a few questions:
First off, what name should I address you as? Can you tell us about yourself and how you got started in art? How long have you been at it?
I go by the name Hasworld. When I was really young I would always make sketches, later on I lost love for art and started music. Then came back to sketching and painting. I’ve started to take art serious from 2012.
How would you describe your work?
I would describe it as being some form of detailed expressionism with a twist of abstract and street art. I also love creating characters in my work.
What projects are you working on now?
I have a few secret projects which I can’t reveal at the moment, but I can say I’m working towards another exhibition.
Where do your ideas come from? Are they immediate, or are they stored up over time? Can you give us an idea of your process?
My ideas come from everywhere, from dreams to conversations… some of my ideas are stored for a long time. For example, I had a dream of being chased by vampires 3 years ago. I randomly remembered it two weeks ago and turned it into an art piece.
Is there one piece that you are most proud of and is there one piece that you are most attached to? Can you tell me a little bit about those pieces?
There’s one piece I love and miss, which is called “Sun Deficiency” which I made and sold in 2014. The piece is about a introverted guy who’s always indoors, and one day he has a dream to go outside and look at the sun. So he does and becomes a new man. The piece I’m attached to is my first popular painting which is my icon on Instagram. It’s called ‘The Phantom’ the story of him is mysterious for now.
what are your current obsessions?
My current obsessions would be going to the gym everyday. Due the fact I would do nothing but art, but since I’ve been taking care of my health, I have more energy and my art has improved.
Is there one underlying theme to your work?
I wouldn’t say there’s one underlying theme. I would say recently I’ve been painting about the spirit realm. Sounds crazy but whatever.
Can you tell me about the mask you put on people and why?
When we are on social media, I feel a lot of us front and hide behind filters and a fake lifestyle. So the mask is to symbolize how people are becoming less human, and how there’s another layer of them under the mask.
What is next for you?
More great art, more street art and more exhibitions. Also I’m fusing music and art together so I will be bringing out some Lofi music.