Johnny Romeo: The Four Little Girls

When one thinks of Spanish art, of its energy and its passion, one name immediately springs to mind: Pablo Picasso.

In his latest series, ‘The Four Little Girls’, Johnny Romeo pays homage to his hero Picasso, while maintaining his signature graphic style and lively colour palette.

Romeo powerfully marries the Cubist sensibilities of the Spanish Master with his own stream-of-consciousness pop expressionism, to create something haunting and original.

The works draw inspiration from Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’ series and a stream-of-consciousness play by Picasso entitled ‘The Four Little Girls’. Each painting is imbued with a deep sense of melancholy, and depicts a sister in a state of emotional and elemental pain. In contrast to the harrowing, anguished weepers of Picasso, Johnny Romeo’s ‘Four Little Sisters’ are characterised by a more introspective, spiritual sorrow.

The richly rounded, disjointed forms of the girls evokes classic Picasso while remaining a distinctly Romeo flavour. The rhythmic, pulsating nature of Romeo’s graphic lines is beautifully juxtaposed with the piercing, detached eyes of the sisters. Their gaze reaches beyond the confines of the canvass, perhaps as a means of escape, perhaps recoiling from the chaos ensuing in the outside world. The tears shed by each sister are thick and full, weighed down by a sadness that echoes the tears of the grieving Madonna motif that Picasso himself found so captivating.

The incorporation of text such as ‘Howl’, ‘Frozen’, ‘Burn’ and ‘Shiver’, inspired from the Picasso play, provide short, sharp bursts of pop pith and emotional grit to the works. This dynamic between pop energy and emotional gravitas is further explored through Romeo’s love for bold, gregarious colours and its interplay with rich, darker hues.

Johnny Romeo’s ‘The Four Little Girls’ is a captivating series that creates an interesting visual dialogue between the work of Picasso and his own.

Johnny Romeo’s ‘The Four Little Girls’ will be part of The Art of Spain Group Show @ 19Karen, Gold Coast, Australia. June 9th – 7th July 2012.

Opening Night: Saturday 9th June 2012 – 6-8pm – www.19karen.com.au

May 23, 2012