Five minutes with…. India Irving
How do you start your day?
I must admit that like a typical LA girl, my day begins with an almond milk latte. Following that, weather permitting, I normally take my French Bulldog, Jackson, for a long walk on Hampstead Heath. We live right across the road and I find that starting the morning surrounded by green tends to lead to a better day ahead.
If you hadn’t ended up running your business where do you think life would have taken you?
Well, I used to be quite a serious tap dancer so perhaps something involving that! That’s assuming I could lay off pasta for long enough, which is definitely questionable…
When you’re not working how do you chill out?
I love to read. I’m about to start 'War & Peace' after falling madly in love with Prince Andrei (James Norton) on the recent BBC mini-series. I also try to do hot yoga a few times a week as I find it’s the one thing that really relaxes me. As I hinted at earlier, I’m a big foodie so trying new restaurants is a favorite activity. And of course, now that Game of Thrones is back, that’s my Monday night sorted, although I’m not sure I could say that helps me chill out as much as prompts me to incessantly shush Sam (my fiancé) for making the slightest noise while I’m trying to watch.
What’s the last song you listened to?
I was in Venice last weekend and on the flight back I went through the entire ‘In the Heights’ soundtrack. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
When was your first experience of a piece of art that really affected you?
When I moved to New York after uni, my mum took me to the MoMA and got me a membership. I remember walking through the museum with her and suddenly finding myself in front of Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Christina’s World’. I knew nothing about the painting at that time but I remember standing there and seeing a whole story unfold right before my eyes. It really touched me quite deeply, and I’ll never forget that moment.
What do you remember about that piece? Why did it speak to you?
At the time of seeing the painting, I had no idea that it’s subject, Anna Christina Olson, suffered from Polio and therefore was paralyzed from the waist down. It is said Wyeth was inspired to create the work after seeing Christina crawling through a field from the window of his summer house in Maine.
As I said, I knew none of this at the time, but in that moment of meeting this painting, I saw a girl that was determined to go somewhere. It seemed to me, I was looking at a girl who would stop at nothing to get where she wanted to be. And it turns out, in my own way, I was right. I think it was her fierce drive that moved me, and the fact that even though we can’t see Christina’s face, we can still see exactly how she is feeling. I remember realising with that painting, that there is as much movement in stillness as there is in anything else.
Who would you tip as the next big artist to watch right now?
That is truly difficult because there are so many young artists I absolutely adore and believe in but if I really had to choose one, I’d say Massimo Agostinelli (who I’m thrilled to report has a profile on ArtAttack). The thing is, yes he’s talented and does great work, but he’s also incredibly smart. He understands the business side and I think that’s important. He is one of the most observant people I’ve ever come across; his attention to detail is unparalleled. We had a stroll through Phillip’s recent contemporary show together and he could name every artist on the wall. He knows his stuff. That’s the kind of thing that makes the difference.
But like I said there are so many emerging artists I admire, and I come across more every day as they join ArtAttack! That’s one of the most exciting things about the platform, you really get to discover the most fantastic work, and do so early on in the artists’ careers.
How do you like to prepare for a really important event?
If possible, a fresh manicure. I know that probably sounds ridiculous but I do find that when my nails are done I just feel that much more confident. Of course, depending on the event, I’ll do the research involved if that’s part of it. I like to know exactly what I’m dealing with at all times. And I have to make sure I have enough business cards! That’s a big one.
Do you have any weird and wonderful superstitions?
Not really except that I do think black cats are actually good luck.
What is the most unusual piece of art you own?
I think I would have to say a pill cabinet bought at the Hampstead Affordable Art Fair last summer. The artist is Dana Wyse and it’s part of her ‘Pills & Remedies’ series. Of course it’s mocking Hirst’s medicine cabinets, but it’s really brilliant and pretty hysterical. Instead of individual pills it contains various pill packets claiming to help you ‘Understand Contemporary Art’ and ‘Make Your Wife Think She Likes Camping.’ There are also ‘Rhythm Pills,’ an ‘Instant Suburbs Hair’ pill and even a packet that claims to help you ‘Heal from the time you saw your parents having sex.’ The best part is, all these various miracle cures are on display and you get to choose the ones you want for your cabinet. I bought the piece with my Sam and we had a blast picking our personalised collection. No one ever comes over without noticing it, and it’s brought on a lot of teethy smiles.
Creator or curator the Art Attack App has something for everyone, you can download it from the iTunes store here. Don't forget to head over to thier Instagram page to see what happened when gallery girl Juliette took it over live at Frieze New York!