What do Billie Eilish, Troye Sivan, BENEE and Skeggs have in common? Yes, they are all offensively talented. More specifically, they have all enlisted the services of Melbourne-based artist Jack Irvine to create bold and vibrant works of art for their respective merch collections.
It’s fair to say that Jack’s art is far from subdued. Given his passion for creating bold, energetic art full of colors and movement, the fact that he was inspired by artists like Keith Haring, Basquiat, Ozzie Wright and Picasso is definitely a must see.
Now Jack’s stunning new exhibition – Simple Pleasures – at Canberra’s aMBUSH Gallery is showing the paintings Jack created during Melbourne’s infamous 2020 lockdown. According to Jack, Simple Pleasures is about “the things that consistently represent positive memories.” [his] Life. Things I had no appreciation for before the pandemic, and in retrospect … I realized how amazing those times were. “
To celebrate the start of Jack’s new exhibition, we ambushed the artist with MTV Australia’s Pressing Questions – our chic new interview series that removes the need for the conversation frames of robots and is stuck in the personal, hypothetical and just weird situation.
What’s the meaning of life?
To do some fun things that get you excited – and hopefully make other people’s lives a little better along the way.
Something COVID taught you?
Shit can change very quickly, so don’t wait to make excuses.
Sherpa. It’s about Mount Everest and the tourism it brings to Nepal and how much the Nepalese government makes compared to the Sherpa who put themselves in danger.
Best advice you received?
“To be interesting, you have to do interesting things.”
Someone you really admire?
The late British singer and songwriter Ian Dury. His texts contain really nice messages and interesting stories. He just seemed like a really down to earth person.
How do you feel with your hair
Pretty good. It’s still stuck in there so I can’t complain.
Describe yourself in three words?
A person or thing that you think is underrated?
Homemade popcorn is greatly underestimated. I eat it almost every day. It’s not unhealthy – so you can eat tons of it and not feel fucked in ages, but you need to make sure you buy a brand without all of the crap in it. I look forward to having something to eat afterwards.
Would you prefer to travel 100 years into the past or into the future?
Definitely the future! I’m a big science fiction fan, so I’d love to see what to expect. Probably some really crappy shit, sure.
If I had to choose, I would say care because I think when you are surrounded by good people, it will surely help you get better.
Perfect, clean people.
Daily ritual that you couldn’t live without?
Brushing my teeth – I hate my day when I can’t. If I listen to music before I do something, then I’m in the right place.
How are you doing at 8 a.m. (basically, are you a morning person?)
When I’m up, super lazy. In my brain, I’m going to make a decision that I’ll stay home and watch movies all day, then in 10 minutes I’ll want to do something.
I’m far from a morning person, but I won’t be a dick or anything. I’m not one of those people who won’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.
Something you are passionate about?
I am passionate about making things happen, trying things out, and trying to be reasonably decent.
Tell us about your art in one sentence.
My art is fun, colorful, and does its best to cheer me up – and hopefully you too.
Jack’s responses have been edited slightly for clarity.
Experience Jack Irvine’s Simple Pleasures at ANU’s aMBUSH Gallery until May 16, 2021. The exhibition is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends until Sunday, May 16. Admission is free.
Pressing questions with Linda Marigliano
Pressing questions with Nick Ward
Pressing questions with Dayglow