Johnny Romeo


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.

March 7, 2016