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James Gulliver Hancock talks about the origin of his drawing Underground New York...

READERSVOICE.COM: In your picture Underground New York how did you come up with the details for all the engineering under the ground?

JAMES GULLIVER HANCOCK: I was staying at a friends farm upstate before I did this drawing and I usually find that getting out of the city sometimes unlocks all these ideas that build up in the city. So I started drawing his barn and imagined all this stuff underneath the idilic surface, like the city was still there underneath. When I got back to the city I started doing the same sort of drawings, exploring and imagining what could be underneath the surface. I love playing with ideas of poetic versions of reality, explaining or imagining the real world through drawing and giving people a new perspective on things.

RV: Your creation, the crude drawing machine, was amazing and hilarious. How did that come about?

JGH: My friend and I were living together and we really wanted to collaborate. He’d just been given a voucher for a crazy recycling place and we went and bought a bunch of machines including an old photocopier. We brought all this junk home and just started pulling it apart and putting it back together. These awkward clunky machines emerged. It was such a playful process which I aspire to every day.

RV: Are you planning on doing a large book with a whole lot of your drawings, in all different styles? A kind of big collection or retrospective?

JGH: A great idea! but I always like the next thing so sometimes it’s hard to look back on old work and see it with a friendly light, I’m always moving forward and in love with the next project.

RV: What are some of the places you like to go regularly in New York, as far a bars or museums or any other places?

JGH: All the classic places like MOMA, The Met etc, but my favourite is to walk and discover the unknown. New York is so dense and intense that I’ve always had the best days when I just let the exploration take over. I remember the first time I came as a teenager and didn’t know anyone, I just walked where the traffic lights pointed me, crossing the road when the green man directed me. It was a great game that led me to the unknown.

RV: What are some of your plans, whether for more books on allthebuildingsinnewyork.com, travel, writing or any other projects?

JGH: So many projects coming out soon! new books, new murals, stay tuned at jamesgulliverhancock.com for all the releases.

– see allthebuildingsinnewyork.com and jamesgulliverhancock.com.
– copyright Simon Sandall.