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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Mitch Revs is changing the colour of 2020

While his artwork remains quintessential Newcastle, Mitch ‘Revs’ Resevsky is hoping his latest exhibition reflects a new calm that has come about after a year that was like no other.

The 30-year-old artist, who has made a name for himself painting an array of iconic sites of the former steel city, says All in a Year is about relishing the positive aspects learned during 2020.

“It’s a mash-up of styles,” he says of his latest showcase.

“I’ve always loved abstract, but it never tied in with the style I’m known for, I could never mash it in with the cartoon-coastal vibe.

“So, I’ve been exploring ways I could incorporate that using aerosol, and mashing it together.

“I don’t know if people are going to like it yet, it’s different for me.”

Revs’ art has featured on everything from a bowling club, tattoos, puzzles, rugby jerseys and vegemite jars.

His latest platform will be within his Hunter Street gallery and will focus on the positive lessons the cheeky surfer has learned during COVID-19.

“It sums up the year,” he said.

“And what a year, you turn on the tv or flick over pages of news and you think what a year, and as much as you don’t want to talk about or hear someone say it again, for us, All in a Year is not about the negatives but about what we created this year.

“You need to speak about positivity to breed it.

“A lot of people get caught up in looking at all the negatives about the year and then negativity breeds negativity and we thought – can we do this differently? And then anyone who wants to come along for the ride, feel free.

Isolation, Revs said, became a productive time for him.

After COVID-19 closed his doors to the public for a month, Revs continued to create.

“This exhibition comes out of this creative time,” he said.

“People spend so much time at home, and you want it to be a colourful environment, that’s why I paint colourful things and sell them, because colour makes people happy.”

The name of the exhibition stems from a time when the former Kotara High School student was a drummer in a punk band. 

“It’s a song by the Comeback Kids,” he said. “Some people will know it.”

As a teenager, Revs also tried his hand at tattooing, inking the skin of many of his Novocastrian mates.

“Dad was happy I moved away from tattoo art,” he said.

“I think he was worried someone was going to get seriously sick, and coming home to a house full of random people getting tattoos probably wasn’t the best thing either.”

“He (dad) told me it (tattooing) wasn’t a reflection of me. He said: ‘Why don’t you draw your own art?’, and something stuck.

“Bad decisions make good stories.”

This month’s exhibition is Revs’ fourth Newcastle exhibition and features a new colour palette and content, in what he describes as “a theme of coastal with a sprinkle of safari”.

“I love the simpleness of it,” Revs said.

“It’s still got the same style as the old stuff but less characters and less action. It’s less busy.

“The illustrations will always be there and always be recognisable to people as Newcastle, but these artworks are more personal, a reflection of me. 

“They’re a lot more peaceful. Simplistic.” 

Revs’ exhibition, All in a Year, opens this Saturday 28 November.