We sat down with Hank Grüner, a young emerging painting artist from Stockholm, who gave us his own interpretation of the forthcoming 2019 Air Jordan VI ‘Infrared’.
Your art style is instantly recognizable, how did you get to where you are today?
"It’s a hard question to answer. I am not a trained or schooled painter, I am self taught by watching and learning from older artist around me. I have been to different art schools but it was never the place for me. I have a vision in my head, and try to stay true to that feeling.
We live in a society where there are certain rules in some fields, but in art I believe you have to break or challenge them. That’s maybe how I created my own style. Maybe it’s also a bit of dark and light in my paintings, the balance."
Jordan Brand’s motto for the season is all about owning the game, how do you interpret that?
"I am a ball player and remember when I was a kid my dad put up a quote from Michael Jordan on the refrigerator. Something like ”I’ve missed 300 shots and that’s why I succeeded”. My father told me that I needed to dare in life and not to be shy off. On the basketball court, like Mike did, he kept shooting those shots until it went in.
I guess that is how I would interpret “owning the game”, not to be afraid to fail. You might fail or struggle, but if you own that struggle it might get easier not letting the game take control over you. It’s the misses and fails that define you."
How does that reflect on what you do?
"I think to work with art or anything creative you need to dare and trust your own instinct, meaning not to be afraid, to try and accept having to start over again. You have to own your shit basically. Take the bull by its horns and enjoy the ride through the storm."
Is the message of your art within the beholder or do you want to tell specific stories with your work?
"I never made art that requires an art degree to look at. It’s up to the beholder to make their own story of what they see, to interpret what it could be. Mythical creatures and magical realism or whatever you see."
What is the most challenging part with being an artist today?
"There are so many good artists everywhere, but artists who work outside of the established gallery system are almost totally ignored. It’s a crazy power structure.
It’s easy to get lost comparing and striving to become an artist instead of focusing on your own feeling and expression. You should not compare yourself with anyone else but work as hard as you can, exploring and developing your own voice as an artist."
The Jordan VI ‘Infrared’ is known to be the Swedes favorite Jordan. What’s your relationship to the shoe?
"I have always liked the Jordan 6 infrared but never been able to get it because it sells out so fast and I am a slow buyer. I am born in 1991, the same year as the sneaker was released, which also make the sneaker a bit more special to me. Michael Jordan was my idol as a child, I grew up watching the Chicago Bulls and Space Jam."
"What is your next challenge? "
"Creating more art and hopefully I will have my own first solo exhibition here in Stockholm sometime before the summer. Expect the worse and hope for the best.""
If you want to discover Hank G. final art work, go visit SNS Stockholm.
The Air Jordan VI ‘Infrared’ is dropping Saturday at 9am on SNEAKRS."