LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is the thrilling new collaborative exhibition between internationally acclaimed Australian pop artist Johnny Romeo and leading US-based snowboard company Gilson Boards. Drawing on the iconic imagery of America’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, the exhibition brings together original Romeo paintings and four custom-made boards that seek to connect the worlds of fine art and snowboarding culture. Bursting at the seams with Romeo’s exhilarating Neo-Expressionist Pop stylings, the series is a gloriously colourful reimagining of both Lincoln and the traditional snowboard from Australia’s King of Pop.
Inspired by the legacy and symbolism of Abraham Lincoln, LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is an electrifying celebration of freedom in all its forms. The freedom to innovate and create lies at the heart of the Gilson x Romeo collaborative exhibition, showcasing boards that fuse Gilson’s cutting edge design with rambunctious, Technicolour renditions of Old Abe. Exhibited as artworks, the Gilson x Romeo Freedom boards capture Romeo and Gilson’s ambition to break down the barriers between the gallery space and the snow slopes. The drive to push snowboarding culture into new and exciting terrain pays homage to the very pioneering spirit that has made Abraham Lincoln the immortalised icon of freedom that he is today.
In true Johnny Romeo fashion, vivacious bursts of bubblegum hues meld seamlessly with slick, graphic line-work and an energetic street-art aesthetic to create refreshingly fun renditions of Old Abe. Uncompromisingly Pop and boldly playful, Romeo’s Abraham Lincoln reflects the influence of the classic skateboard designs of his youth, while channeling the adrenaline-rush of carving down snow-slopes at warp speed. This same commitment to thrill seeking and the joys of facing the unknown informs Gilson’s intrepid approach to snowboard design, and their perpetual pursuit of the perfect ride.
Johnny Romeo tempers the playfulness of his Pop-inflected Abraham Lincoln with a subtle stoicism. There is a piercing quality to Lincoln’s gaze as it meets the onlooker head-on. The paintings and board designs are imbued with an emotional gravitas that balances austerity with triumph, and bridges the gap between Lincoln the legendary icon and Lincoln the all-too-human individual.
Romeo’s expressive and lively take on Abraham Lincoln also touches on the universal resonance that the revered president has taken within the world of Pop culture. As a leading Australian Pop artist painting iconic American imagery on American boards, Johnny Romeo’s status as an ‘outsider looking in’ speaks to our broader understanding of the president as a symbol of freedom within the fabric of the global Pop lexicon. Both the paintings and snowboards on show cleverly reflect Abraham Lincoln’s metamorphosis from American historical figure to universal Pop icon.
LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is a fresh, vibrant and bombastic reinterpretation of classic Abraham Lincoln iconography from two of the most exciting forces in global Pop art and snowboards. A perfect alchemy between Gilson’s innovative approach to design and Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop imagery, the series sees Australia’s leading Pop artist take his work in an exhilarating new direction.
Opening reception with Artist: Friday 4th November 2016 | 6-9pm @ Converge Gallery, Williamsport.
140 West 4th St, Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701, USA.
Any enquires regarding Johnny Romeo’s LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES can be made directly through Converge Gallery (email@example.com) or by calling the gallery on +1 570-435-7080.
Exhibition Dates: 4th November – 26th November 2016.
November 1, 2016