About Town | Art Brings Life to a Home: Mr Mustart
Written by: Dena Landon
Photography by: Ivan Petrovsky and Jayne Freeman
Artist Ivan Petrovsky, aka Mr Mustart, started his artistic journey at home, helping his father build their home in Eastern Russia from the ground-up. It’s only natural, then, that his journey has led him back to creating for homeowners.
After immigrating to the United States as a teen, art became his language of expression while he learned English. It wasn’t until after college at NJCU that he found his calling as a painter, muralist, and home beautification artist.
“I couldn’t take it anymore, I walked off my last 9 to 5 job in the middle of the day,” he explains. “Rather than doing my personal art and putting on shows, I’d ask people what they wanted and needed.” It led him to creating installations at homes, businesses, and buildings all over Hoboken.
Original art, whether it’s on a canvas or a garage wall, always elicits a response. And that’s Ivan’s goal, because to him, “art is about feelings, energy, and emotion.” One of his most rewarding moments as an artist was when a client sent him a video of her children laughing, excited, and jumping up and down when they first saw their new basement wall.
“In his opinion, abstract art works well in homes because it’s more of an experience than a thing.”
If you buy a picture of a woman in a hat, it’s a defined image and object that could limit interpretation and eventually grow boring. He wants people to interact with his art and encourages clients who’ve commissioned canvases to flip them every few months to get a new angle and perspective.”
With bright, swirling colors and rounded shapes, he draws on the traditions of urban graffiti but prefers the term “mural” or “aerosol” art. From a large garage wall to a canvas, his work uplifts and elevates a space. Sometimes, it serves as therapy.
For one commission, the art currently hanging in a room reminded the client of past trauma. They wanted to bring peace to their home. “the client told me about their experience, sent me five different images of my pieces that had touched them, and I combined them, and added brighter colors to bring more light and peace to.”
Adding art that spoke to her soul transformed a painful memory into a sacred space, an extension of Ivan’s calling. “My mission as an artist is to brighten up people’s days and bring energy and life to places lacking something organic and real.”