A rogue street art series has popped up around Manhattan, highlighting the true meaning behind Memorial Day. Produced by parody and meme-loving street artist Hanksy, the three wheatpastes starkly contrast the free-for-all vacation vibe of most Memorial Day revelers with the grim realities of wartime life and death. Street art often serves up political messages, but not so for the usually comical Hanksy, who first went viral for reimagining Banksy's iconic works with Tom Hanks' face superimposed on them. These Memorial Weekend "reminders" appear playful, but pack a sobering punch.
One features a blonde woman in sunglasses snapping herself sunbathing in a cemetery; the Instagram hashtag #sunsoutbunsout floats above her. Another shows a mother cradling a baby, saying, "Your grandpa fought in WW2 so you can grow up and be an influencer..." Speaking to Gothamist, Hanksy said his veteran grandfather inspired the Memorial Day series. "I'm not a fan of war, but I respect those who have served," Hanksy said. "These posters are just a small reminder that in-between your long weekend beach selfies and third bottle of rosé, you should acknowledge the real reason everyone has the day off."