By MARK CARSON, November 2020
Shane “Mr. Everybody” is an Irish born self taught artist, where he is currently painting and living with his family. Shane found himself at a very young age drawn to the arts while spending most of his teenage years engulfed in the graffiti scene. He really enjoys the expressionistic side of graffiti and rawness it offers.
Mr. Everybody's style offers up a clash of bleak imagery and playful vibrancy. The works, often minimalist in execution, tell of both street art and classical influences, with elegant figures and pop culture iconography playing a role. The artist’s own practice feels at home on both a gallery wall and a public wall. Shane has shown work in galleries around the world, including Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, Krause Gallery in New York, and Sol Gallery in Dublin Ireland.
Mr. Everybody has an upcoming solo show opening July 2021 at Beinart Gallery, Melbourne.
MARK CARSON: The series with the balloons... what's up with it? Where did the inspiration come from?
MR. EVERYBODY: Well, few years back maybe 2015/2016 I did a random ink sketch or drawing study as I always do with pre-painting - some make the final cut and some don’t. The first image involved a little girl being lifted by balloons and was very dark yet minimalistic it was just something with the black and white vs. colour The dark vs. light struck a cord with me and I felt it had potential to grow.
A lot of people ask why Balloons but I love symbolism in painting and art in general, I think it holds a strong purpose without having to give the idea straight out. For me it was more about trying to use a simple and happy childhood object and putting it in a different context and giving it a totally different sense of feeling in a piece, sometimes it worked, and others not so much.
MC: Who is the woman you paint? Is she someone you know? A lover? or just some random woman?
ME: The main model I use is my partner, I must have used her in over 20 paintings, I loved to paint her in this series because she is a living version of this ideology for me - "live, love and lose". The order makes no difference, it’s a morbid idea of realism. But I’ve also used many models for different paintings and right now I’m trying to use models that would suit the narrative aspects of the work as it matures
MC: What was your first show and did you think your career would take off after the first show?
ME: My first show was in the Underdog Gallery in London few years back and it was a group show.
I had one big piece which to my shock when I arrived the gallery, they had made it one of the main pieces of the show. The show was bit over my head, I was in with a lot of very talented artists. I flew to London alone to a very packed show. At the time I was quite introvert and ended up leaving and going to do paste ups in London Bridge on my own for a few hours.
I never really thought things would take off the way they have over the last two years, I’ve gone from one show to the next and things can get very crazy at times with deadlines and things but I guess it’s about adapting and remembering to enjoy what I’m doing. If I think about the gallery’s selling and all in between it can seriously effect my process.
MC: The name "Mister Everybody", where did that come from?
ME: The name grew from a a few conversations I’ve had over the years with people about the word talent. I have always felt that most people that throw the word in tend to not understand the time and energy that has gone into learning things Yes! Some people have talent I don’t think I'm personally one of them, I think I’ve a different approach to learning and maybe that is a talent itself .
So when I heard people saying that stuff about talent I would always think “Everybody” has the potential to do anything they want to, it’s the hard grind people give up on, and the name just grew from that idea - and just it stuck I guess.
MC: What is something you do while you are in the zone? while working? Do you drink? smoke? drugs? Are you listening to music? If so, what kind? Do you like having people there while you work or are you more of a loner worker?
ME: I have always had a weird relationship with drugs growing up in a household with a single mom that was an addict gave me a different view or path with drugs, I think smoking a bit of weed can be a heathy thing for your creative process but dangerous to other aspects. I dabbled in some drugs growing up but don’t find they work well with me as a person and achieving goals but that being said, I do like to drink whiskey and try different types of craft beers.
I like to be on my own, when I work it’s quite a personal things for me as a lot of the time the pieces I work on might take more of my focus than normal. The newer series I’m working on, I seem to have to go into a heavier place to get the images out or the emotion of them and it’s hard to balance those feelings after I put down the brush but I’m learning...
I think music has a big part to play in my process I love Miles Davis, Tom Waits, Agnes Obel but also I grew up as a B-Boy and spent most of my life in the hip hop scene - so I still love hip hop and others genres. WM