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Johnny Romeo

27

New Paintings

Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse. The tale of the tragic celebrity, gone too soon from this earth, has long been a fascination in Pop culture. In his thrilling latest series, 27, internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo explores the notorious 27 Club, a group of legendary musicians and artists who truly lived fast and died too young. After bursting through 2016 with a rapturously received exhibition in Perth which sold out prior to opening, and celebrated features in Artist Profile and Channel 9 program ‘Postcards’, Australia’s King of Pop returns with a knockout collection of paintings that sees him take his inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop stylings to electrifying new heights.

27 features Johnny Romeo’s most visually arresting paintings to date. Romeo’s rollicking renditions of fallen Pop icons burn with an insatiable energy and charisma, bursting through the canvas with rich, stencil-like silhouettes and robust line-work. Bold, unapologetic and in your face, the artist has crafted a series of portraits that adeptly capture the life and essence of artistic luminaries who became martyrs to fame and excess. This can be seen in the work ‘Fire Sky’. Romeo’s Jim Morrison, with his signature pout and amphetamine-addled glare, oozes with smouldering sensuality, recalling the hedonistic mystique of the Lizard King as he prowled the stages of LA’s Sunset Strip.

Teetering between Pop sheen and riveting rawness, there is a gripping gravitas to Romeo’s tragic icons that renders them both larger-than-life and heartrendingly human. The ecstatic, Technicolour bursts of Romeo’s Pop icons enlivens them with an irrepressible energy that reflects Romeo’s philosophy of using colour as a living, vital force. In contrast, the frenzied, turgid hues that characterise Romeo’s backgrounds reflect the chaos of lives lived at a whirlwind pace, pushing the limits of pleasure and nihilism as they spin out of control.

Growing up on a steady diet of raucous rock’n’roll and the morose swamp-stomp of the blues, Romeo’s clever use of text reflects the indelible influence of music in his work. Commanding, stencilled words combine with smaller scrawled text bubbles to form catchy rhyming couplets, toying with our sense of word association while paying homage to the iconic works of the 27 Club. Much like the fuzzed out refrain of a snarling grunge anthem, word combinations such as ‘gas gray’, ‘dove dash’ and ‘swirl pearl’ reflect a preoccupation with youthful escapism and self-destruction.

Tapping into the juncture between extinguished youth and immortality, Johnny Romeo’s take on the notorious 27 Club masterfully straddles the line between triumph and tragedy, between young recklessness and the gravity of loss. Romeo has imbued his icons with a morose, haunting quality, as the sullen stares of rockstars like Jimi Hendrix look on in quiet acceptance of their untimely passing. At the same time, there is a smouldering obstinance to Romeo’s fallen heroes, a resolute refusal to be forgotten as they meet the gaze of the audience with unwavering intensity.

27 is an elegy to tragic stars gone before their time, a celebration of uncompromising Pop icons who took a walk on the wild side and never lived to tell the tale. Amping up Johnny Romeo’s signature Neo-Expressionist bombast and neon-drenched colour explosions to maximum volume, the series sees Australia’s leading Pop artist deliver gloriously iconic Pop works loud enough to wake the dead.

Johnny Romeo | 27 | New Paintings @ Penny Contemporary, Hobart, Australia.
June 10th, 2016 – July 5th, 2016.

Opening reception with Artist: Friday June 10th, 2016 | 5:30 -7:30pm @ Penny Contemporary, Hobart.
187 Liverpool Street, Hobart, TAS, 7000.

Any enquiries regarding Johnny Romeo’s 27 can be made directly through Penny Contemporary (info@pennycontemporary.com.au) or by calling the gallery on +61 3 6231 5655.

www.pennycontemporary.com.au

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Johnny Romeo’s work Go Lucky will be part of the HAPPY – GROUP SHOW @ 19Karen, Gold Coast, Australia.

Opening Night – Friday 13th May –  6-8pm @ The Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach.

To see more of Johnny Romeo’s works go to – 19Karen

Any enquires regarding Johnny Romeo’s works can be made directly through 19Karen (info@19karen.com.au) or by calling the gallery on +61 7 5554 5019.

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Johnny Romeo and Linton & Kay Galleries, Perth featured on Channel 9’s POSTCARDS with Scherri-Lee Biggs.

To view the full episode & segment go to – Postcards 2016 Episode 10  |  Channel 9

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Johnny Romeo

WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD

New Paintings

Fresh from taking the Australian and American art world by storm in 2015, internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo returns with his highly anticipated series WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD. Comprised of 21 electrifying new and original paintings, the series is a Technicolour sugar rush of confectionary sweet hues, graphic gusto and spirited wordplay wrought in Romeo’s truly unique Neo-Expressionist Pop style. A veritable feast for the senses, WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD is a glorious homage to all things Pop culture that sees Australia’s King of Pop very much at the top of his game.

Drawing inspiration from the glistening synth pop of beloved 80s outfit Tears for Fears, WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD is a powerful statement of intent from Johnny Romeo. Aspiring to capture the notion that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame, Romeo has crafted a sumptuous series of paintings that capture the sheer exhilaration and youthful thrill of being on top of the world. Tinged with a teenage nostalgia, there is an irrepressible vitality to Romeo’s latest series of works that harkens back to a simpler time where imaginations ran free and the fire in our bellies led us to believe we could achieve the impossible.

Ever the Postmodern sampler, Johnny Romeo’s eclectic array of superheroes, arch villains and celebrities find inspiration from many of his own childhood icons to represent the best of the best in Pop culture. While looking to the past for inspiration, Romeo draws these silver screen stars and comic book caped crusaders who once ruled the Pop landscape kicking and screaming into the present with cheeky irreverence and undeniable visual flair.

Steeped in pitch-black humour, the series celebrates the over-the-top criminal mastery of villains such as Two-Face and the Joker, the swashbuckling heroism of Superman and the legacies of artistic martyrs such as Frida Kahlo. For Johnny Romeo, these Pop icons live life entirely on their own terms, and offer us as the audience a sense of escapism from ordinary existence. Romeo’s innovative and witty word assemblages thus act as visual manifestos, breathing new life into old royals while evoking the rhythmic punchiness of classic Pop songs.

Renowned for his lively hyper-saturated use of colour, Johnny Romeo has employed his philosophy of using colour as a vital, living force to maximum impact in WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD. Robust, full-bodied neons explode across paintings with the ferocity of molotov cocktails, whilst candy coated pastel hues temper the blaze with an irrepressible sense of fun and a pulsing Pop edge. Unapologetic and in-your face, there is an incendiary quality to Romeo’s colours in the series that speaks of a dogged refusal to be constrained by society’s rules, of crashing through the establishment with all guns blazing.

With its slick, commanding line-work, WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD sees Johnny Romeo firing on all cylinders as he takes his triumphant Neo-Expressionist style to dizzying new heights. Through his highly physical and taut use of oil sticks, Romeo conjures a real sense of swagger and urgency to his rollicking renditions of Pop culture icons. There is an epic, truly larger than life feel coursing through the works, as Romeo depicts superheroes such as Batman soaring through the canvas, refusing to be held down by the hum-drum banality of everyday life.

WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD is a brazen and vibrant paean to Pop culture escapism, and its ability to transcend the dull realities of the everyday. Full of Johnny Romeo’s most bombastic and vivacious paintings to date, the series offers electrifying Technicolour visions of a time of danger and unbounded possibility, a time when we were heroes, artists and Pop stars, a time when we ruled the world.

Johnny Romeo | WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD | New Paintings @ Linton & Kay Galleries, Perth, Australia.
March 14th, 2016 – April 4th, 2016.

Opening reception with Artist: Sunday March 20th, 2016 | 2-4pm @ Linton & Kay Galleries, Perth.
The Old Perth Technical School – Level 1 / 137 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000.

Any enquires regarding Johnny Romeo’s WHEN WE RULED THE WORLD can be made directly through Linton & Kay Galleries (perth@lintonandkay.com.au) or by calling the gallery on +61 8 6465 4314.

Artist Profile - Johnny Romeo - Issue 34

Johnny Romeo - Artist Profile - Page 102

Johnny Romeo - Artist Profile - Page 103

Johnny Romeo - Artist Profile - Page 104

Johnny Romeo - Artist Profile - Page 105

Johnny Romeo featured in the latest issue of Artist Profile Magazine (Issue 34). Pages 102 – 105.

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OPENING NIGHT – Johnny Romeo LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN New Paintings @ Venice Heights / China Inn Gallery, Venice, California, United States

Venice Heights / China Inn Gallery – 812 1/2 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, California 90291, United States.

Any inquiries regarding LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN can be made directly through Venice Heights / China Inn Gallery (paulina@veniceheights.com) or by calling the gallery / Paulina on +1 562 716 0149.

www.veniceheights.com

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Johnny Romeo

LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN

New Paintings

Following a string of highly celebrated and sold-out shows in the US and Australia, internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo is back with his exhilarating new series LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN. Returning to Venice Beach and exhibiting on hip Lincoln Boulevard, LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN is a towering Technicolour testament to America’s most beloved president, wrought in Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop style. Brimming with Romeo’s signature graphic gusto, and eye for captivating colour arrangements, the series of 10 paintings is a vivacious reinterpretation of Abraham Lincoln from Australian Pop royalty.

Johnny Romeo’s rollicking renditions of Lincoln are bold yet nuanced, buzzing with an insatiable Pop edge while capturing the stoicism that has come to characterise the Lincoln icon. With its rich, slick line-work, garish tattoo motifs and confectionary sweet hues, there is an unashamed kitschness to the series that imbues Lincoln with an unexpected playfulness.

At the same time, there is an emotional gravitas underlying Romeo’s Pop president. In many of the paintings, Lincoln’s gaze is austere and enduring, meeting the gaze of the onlooker with unflinching authority while turgid expanses of colour streak the background with a pensive potency. The masterful balance between bombast and introspection, euphoria and melancholia, give the works an emotional complexity that humanises the often-mythologised legacy of America’s most beloved president.

Drawing from all stages of Abraham Lincoln’s life, the series showcases Johnny Romeo’s uncanny ability to twist historical references into pithy Pop observations and cheeky double entendres. Text is rendered in thick, commanding lines that mirror the declaratory nature of presidential addresses, while the addition of smaller, scrawled speech bubbles captures a brilliant mind in contemplation.

Clever word assemblages and stream of consciousness text cascade across the canvas, forming infectious rhyming couplets that play with our sense of word association while ingeniously creating parallels between Lincoln’s life and Pop culture. This is exemplified in the work Strive Land. The subtle inclusion of the letters ‘BB’ make reference to the presidential tailors the Brook Brothers, and the jacket Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated. In the same breath, the BB is a subtle allusion to hip-hop culture, standing for ‘B-boy.’

LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN is a Technicolour re-envisioning of Abraham Lincoln like you have never seen before. With his penchant for garish colour explosions, strikingly bold imagery and whiplash witticisms, Johnny Romeo continues to spearhead the global Neo-Expressionist Pop movement while transforming Abraham Lincoln into a bona-fide Pop icon.

Opening Night: Friday 8th January, 2016 @ 7-10pm.

Venice Heights / China Inn Gallery – 812 1/2 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, California 90291, United States.

Any inquiries regarding LINCOLNS ON LINCOLN can be made directly through Venice Heights / China Inn Gallery (paulina@veniceheights.com) or by calling the gallery / Paulina on +1 562 716 0149.

www.veniceheights.com

 

 

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Johnny Romeo featured on the FRONT COVER of this month’s issue of UK based THE SUBLIME ZINE. Great article on Johnny Romeo and his work on pages 22-31 ► http://bit.ly/1NJZdz1

www.thesublimezine.com

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Johnny Romeo

Selected Works

Penny Contemporary Hobart, in conjunction with Bespoke Furniture Melbourne, is proud to announce JOHNNY ROMEO SELECTED WORKS, the thrilling new exhibition of paintings and prints from internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo. Brimming with explosive colour arrangements, graphic gusto and Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist swagger, Selected Works is a neon-drenched celebration of all things Pop that showcases some of Romeo’s most iconic works.

Bespoke Furniture is an Australian owned family business building timber furniture in the hip inner-city Melbourne suburb of Richmond. With a focus on sleek, elegant timber designs that use reclaimed hardwoods and sustainably sourced new timber, Bespoke is committed to crafting furniture that is suited for the way we live in the here and now.

Expertly curated by Penny Contemporary, in conjunction with Bespoke Furniture, the selected works on show offer audiences an exhilarating cross-section of Johnny Romeo’s highly celebrated career. Romeo’s pithy Pop observations of contemporary life and our obsession with Pop culture cleverly echoes Bespoke’s ethos of crafting furniture that reflects modern living.

Johnny Romeo’s expressively brazen fusion of glossy iconography, comic book aesthetics and gritty-stream of consciousness text ingeniously evokes the pervasiveness of advertising slogans, as refracted and reinterpreted through the creative urban experience. Romeo’s highly energetic take on graffiti art, with its unapologetically bold swathes of colour and clever word assemblages, also reflects the spray-paint splattered laneways that make up Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene.

SELECTED WORKS is a visual feast for the senses, with paintings and prints that celebrate and cheekily subvert the plethora of icons that make up our Pop vernacular. The consummate Post-modern sampler, Romeo’s rambunctious and savvy works draw from the full spectrum of the Pop world. Classic comic book heroes, artistic heroines and Grindhouse motifs all share air-time in Johnny Romeo’s vibrant visual broadcasts, highlighting the dynamic eclecticism and whiplash witticisms that have made the artist such an incendiary force in contemporary Pop Art.

The collaboration between Johnny Romeo, Penny Contemporary and Bespoke Furniture Melbourne in SELECTED WORKS is a veritable meeting of kindred spirits, who each share a deep commitment to capturing contemporary living through art and design. With classic works bursting at the seams with exuberant Technicolour arrangements and larger-than-life Pop imagery, SELECTED WORKS sees Australia’s own king of Pop at the top of his game.

Opening Night: Friday 4th December, 2015 @ 6-8pm.

Bespoke Furniture Melbourne | 377 Bridge Road, Richmond, Victoria, Australia.

Any enquiries regarding SELECTED WORKS can be made directly through Penny Contemporary (info@pennycontemporary.com.au) or by calling the gallery on +61 3 6231 5655 or Sonia on +61 438-292-67.

www.pennycontemporary.com.au

 

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Johnny Romeo

POP LIFE

New Paintings

POP LIFE is the electrifying new series from internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo. Following on from successful shows in New York and Pennsylvania earlier this year, Romeo returns with a truly knockout collection of new paintings that offer a refreshing and innovative take on his inimitable style. Brimming with unbridled energy and slick, candy-coloured savviness, POP LIFE is a Technicolor tour de force from Australian Pop royalty that sees Romeo at the forefront of the global Neo-Expressionist Pop movement.

POP LIFE is classic Johnny Romeo played with the volume turned well up to eleven. Full of kaleidoscopic hues and thick, commanding lines, Romeo’s latest works sizzle with undeniable attitude and visual swagger. The consummate Postmodern sampler, the larger-than-life appropriations of cultural icons featured in the series span from personal artistic heroes like Basquiat and Picasso, to gun-slinging bodacious babes and rollicking renditions of Ned Kelly. Romeo’s wildly eclectic slices of subversive Pop iconography act as colourful celebrations of the cultural images that populate the Pop Metropolis that is modern life.

The use of word play and text assemblages has long played a central role in Romeo’s works. POP LIFE, however, marks a shift away from words in Romeo’s usual visual vocabulary, while maintaining the visual chutzpah and glorious colour explosions that we have come to expect from Johnny Romeo. The conscious decision to eschew text has enabled Romeo to experiment with more innovative compositions while allowing his depictions of Pop icons to really speak for themselves.

Dynamic and in-your-face, Romeo’s portraiture delves deep into the pervasive power of iconography in Pop culture.  This is exemplified in ‘Easy’, Romeo’s bombastic homage to classic NWA member Eazy E. With its slick, pastel hues and rich, shadowy visage, Romeo’s Eazy E exudes a staggering visual presence that evokes the gritty punchiness of street art and hardcore hip-hop, but with a Pop-inflected sheen.

Romeo’s latest series sees the artist ingeniously challenge the boundaries of the canvas space. ‘Swisher’ depicts a neo-futurist Ned Kelly cutting through the pictorial plane with manic energy, his pistol prodding at the forefront of the image as his outstretched hand threatens to tear at the very fabric of the canvas. With their bold, exaggerated poses and taut, muscular figures, many of POP LIFE’s anti-heroes and femme fatales are rambunctious and primal in equal measure, elevating Romeo’s penchant for graphic gusto and comic book aesthetics to dizzying new heights.

In his enthralling new series, Johnny Romeo fully embraces the irrepressible energy of Pop icons, eschewing his penchant for text assemblages while maximizing the Technicolor bombast and boldness of his paintings. POP LIFE sees Romeo at the top of his game, offering audiences a neon-drenched world of superheroes, folk legends, and rap royalty – where Pop is king, where Pop is life.

Opening Night: Saturday 21st November, 2015 @ 6-8pm.

19 Karen   |   19 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach QLD, Australia   |   www.19karen.com.au

Any enquiries regarding POP LIFE can be made directly through 19 Karen Gallery (info@19karen.com.au) or by calling the gallery on +61 7 5554 5019.

Exhibition Dates: November 21st, 2015 – January 6th, 2016.

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