The London Look: Ivo Morrison

by Guest of A Guest · June 7, 2024

    The pen is a most mighty instrument when wielded by one Ivo Morrison

    The self-taught artist's hand drawings are a brilliant blend - they're neoclassical noir, doomish propaganda, earnest and bold and humorous at all once. Oh, and they've penguins, a real solid amount of penguins. His are scenes where the dark of night seems to have stained the whole world a most rich, impossible-to-crawl-out-of blue. Sounds heavy, but really they're fun and you need one - we swear!

    Curious where you'll find this Londoner out and about, what he counts as his greatest extravagance or what he makes of private members clubs?

    Where are you from originally?

    What brought you to London?

    How long have you been here?
    On and off for 33 years.

    What neighborhood do you call home?
    Notting Hill.

    What's your job?
    I'm a painter.

    What do you actually do all day?
    I spent today drawing a toucan. She's magnificent.

    Social smoker?
    I think I've quit.

    Go-to pint?
    I like lager that tastes of nothing. The ones people enjoy being rude about. But there must be a reason Carlsberg and Heineken are everywhere.

    Crisp of choice?
    Anything with ridges. It's all about surface area. 

    Preferred pub?
    The Elephant and Castle on Holland Street.

    What's worth the wait?
    The Euros.

    Tube or Boris bike?
    My bike. 

    Tesco or Sainsbury's?
    Tesco. If you don't have a Club Card you can ask to borrow someone's. You get the discount, they get the points. Friendships have been built on less. 

    Weekend getaway trip?

    Favorite restaurant?
    Casse-Croûte on Bermondsey Street.

    Marmite or marmalade?
    Raspberry jam.

    British stereotype that rings true?
    We are astonishingly ill at ease with each other.

    How do you take your tea?
    On a tray to my wife.

    Most British thing about you?
    My father.

    Least British thing about you?
    My sunny disposition.

    Remedy for a rainy day?
    Tom Yum soup.

    First thing you miss when you leave London?
    The sight of well dressed men.

    Private Members Clubs - yay or nay?
    They're everything wrong with society. But also - fun.

    Where in town are you almost always?
    I run around Maida Vale a lot.

    Where in town would you never be caught dead?
    The London Library. I owe them a fortune.

    Best place for a fun night out?
    Can it be my flat? All my favourite nights are there.

    How would you describe your style?
    Bit overdressed.

    Top shopping spots?
    Hornets on Kensington Church Walk.

    What's your greatest extravagance?
    I buy pears from Daylesford. They're very good.

    Cheap thrill?
    If it's not too busy in a tube station I like to lean forward as I'm running down the escalator. Faster and faster so I'm right on the brink of tumbling and my feet have to move between steps quicker than I can think. There's a point just before falling over and really hurting yourself where you will experience true vitality.

    Who's your favorite person in town?
    My wife makes me laugh and feeds me croissants.

    What's your most overused Briticism?
    I like saying 'Christ' through clenched teeth. Imagine how Tilda Swinton might.

    Reading anything good at the moment?
    God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright.

    What are you most excited for next?
    My first solo exhibition in America. It's at Reeves Art and Design in Houston and opens on the 16th of May. Very exciting. 

    [Photos by Kirk Truman]