Gianni Lee // The Man Behind All of the Pink Skeletons


Artist //

Gianni Lee

Photography //

Shane Allen

Interviewer //

Shane Allen

Posted //

September 14th, 2021

Gianni Lee knows how to stand out. Style is emanating from everything he does. Whether it’s a keen sense of fashion, music, or art, he understands the idea of making what you do shine. Whether you are looking at his paintings, the clothing he designs, or the murals he does on the streets, you’re gonna wanna stop and look at it. If you walk around New York City, you’ll come across Gianni’s army of pink skeleton paintings dancing around. At this point, they’re the resident mascots of downtown. Making the best out of very little, Gianni never curbs his imagination because something is in the way, instead, he finds a better, more clever way to do it, whatever it may be.

What were some of your first creative outlets?

I was in art school from an early age and in extracurricular programs. I was in this mentally gifted class that was pretty creative as well.

Boys usually play with action figures and make them fight and come up with stories. But I would take it a step further sometimes.

I would make my own figures out of paper and cardboard that I would paint and draw on. I would make these characters that me and my friends could make-believe with and play out the shit that we saw on tv.

Then wrestling started getting popular and we used to flip on mattresses and pretend we was wrestlers. I always thought I was Shawn Michaels. Everybody thought they were Shawn Michaels.

Everything changed when The Rock came out, when The Rock came out, that was it… it was over.

What are your goals?

With everything that’s happening in the world, I’m just trying to find out what I can do that could help and move an entire group of people.

How could I actually use my platform to lead? I haven’t really figured out what that is but I feel like my goal in life probably is to move people in a certain way I just don’t know which way it is yet.

I just know I’m here for a bigger purpose and I guess right now I’m just taking that time to find out what that bigger purpose is.

How did you start painting?

So I moved to LA, I met Rihanna and ended up giving her a jacket. And after that, shit just went crazy. When Rihanna wore my jacket, everything just went up from there.

I started selling more work and eventually there was too big of a demand and I couldn’t really keep up with it, so I kind of put it to the side. I’m gonna come back to it when the time is right, shits all about timing.

So I was making clothes. But I