CULPRIT CLUB EXCLUSIVE FULL INTERVIEW WITH IROK (PREVIEWED IN IRONLAK MAINLINE)

WE'VE HEARD WHISPERS OF A NEW VIDEO RELEASE COMING SOON, CAN YOU CONFIRM OR DENY?

IROK: Confirming or denying something I’m working on has never really gone in my favour to be honest, haha. I can say that I do have something really special in the works that I’ve been holding off releasing for a long time.

ARE YOU PLANNING A FOLLOW UP EXHIBITION TO LIFE RUINED MY GRAFFITI?

IROK: Besides the previously mentioned project, I can neither confirm nor deny, I do have something in the works for a new exhibition yeah. 'Life ruined my graffiti' was a super personal show for me to put out there. Since then a lot of things have changed, not just for me but for what I wanted to put out also. Even just the few pieces I did post online since then can almost be read like a time line from one to the other about where I was actually at in my real life. And honestly that’s all I ever wanted my shit to be really. A reflection of something real to me. With that in mind though I’m not rushing into anything. I think I’ve done my dash on that tip. 

 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TOURING THE AUS EAST COST FOR THAT SHOW?

IROK: Treasured memories, haha! It was such a wild journey I could honestly do a whole interview just on that one question. The support I had for that trip was seriously something I could shed a tear over. Seeing all the close friends I’ve made through graffiti over the years all come together to be there for me was one thing, but the love and support I got from 'Lak and especially Sarah from The Culprit Club was actually unbelievable. Anyone that can jump in the soccer Dad car with you, pack it full of paintings, drive across the country listening to my ghetto romantic tales of woe and resume my of failures, go couch surfing with writers, set up a show every second night then take it down at dawn the next day only to drive the whip another twelve hours to do it all over again deserves a fucking medal! They were treasured memories, but it was also such a wild journey, I could honestly do a whole interview just on this one question! There were a few challenging moments like standing next to an open til in a closed, overrated, rude as fuck venue trynna' convince Jayzo not to take ten grand sitting in the til in front of us... there was loosing my license to a fake star country cop who claimed to be able to tell the speed limit by eye... to arriving in a new town at 2am in the rain and having to explain that I couldn’t fuck someone to sleep at their house.. but most of all just waiting to come home to my beautiful baby boy and his Mumma for my final show back with them in Brisbane.

IS LIFE STILL RUINING YOUR GRAFFITI?

IROK: When I wrote that down as an idea for the name of my first show, it really rained true at the time. Not in a negative fashion at all though, I was happy life robbed me of that shit. I needed it. Life for me at that time was fucking beautiful. I had every gift you could ever ask for after living the way I had for so many years. I was head over heals in love, we were newly pregnant with my first baby boy, had the big house in the burbs and the new SUV ready for two more. I had this vision of a bright future that didn’t start with a dark subway tunnel for the first time in my life and honestly for that minute I’d never been happier. When all I needed to be content was graffiti, life wasn’t so much good as it was just easy really. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and I miss how simple it was living like that, but in the end I had no responsibility to anyone but myself and I was so comfortable with living that life I never would’ve stopped. I’d have died with that being my only achievement. If I got hit by a train or thrown in prison somewhere it didn’t effect anyone but me. Anything real that happened in my life I had this perfect place to run away to where nothing else mattered. Literally fenced off in a place where no one is allowed to be. You won’t catch yourself thinking about one single thing other than what’s right in front of you. It’s priceless therapy truthfully. It’s rare to have something like that but I wasn’t really growing as a human. I was aiming to be like 45 n hopefully I’d have done Helsinki and LA by then so I could just focus on going back to Berlin every summer with saved up Centrelink pay to drink beers with what ever new kids half my age are doing shit and just keep painting the same easy city’s around Europe because really it’s the only thing I’ve ever actually succeeded at. It’s priceless therapy truthfully, but I wasn’t really growing as a human. All that beautiful shit real life had to offer me that I had at my fingertips may slowly disappear in front of me, but the way I felt in that moment is where I’ll be forever. I’m broke and my future light settings go from bright to dim day by day. But in my head I’m still in love. The one thing that won't disappear is my son. He’s my life. If I get hit by a train or thrown in a Swedish jail now, it’s not just me that suffers the consequences of my graffiti bullshit anymore. Graffiti made me who I am today and I’m proud of that. But my son will make me the man I will be tomorrow. Life was always going to ruin graffiti for me in the end. Something had to, haha.  

CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF HOW YOU CREATE PORTRAITS AND NEW WORK?

IROK: It all starts with a feeling. I don’t put pen to paper or a brush to canvas unless I absolutely have to. I don’t practice drawing or try and perfect my style or anything. I don’t even really rate my own shit, haha. I don’t take jobs to paint giant shit I don’t care about for money even though I’m poor. I just paint when I have no other option. Any other artists work that I actually like is because there’s almost pieces of them visible in every piece. They paint because they have to not because they want to. I love that shit.

 

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