Pop Goes Johnny Romeo For Wasteland
Nahima Kern | On 17, Sep 2016
Art these days is looking pretty “epic”, as Australian artists flourish with their work being in high demand. Johnny Romeo is one such Australian artist whose paintings have been featured across the globe in public and private collections.
Starting off as a graffiti artist, Romeo moved on to painting at university before shooting up into the firmament of “major [art] galleries” and began exhibiting his work around the world. Now, he comes to Brisbane – but not for the first time. Johnny has been riding on the back of his successes for some time now, with recent shows across Australia such as the Cop Killer and Pussy Riot, having sold out. His new exhibition, Wasteland, at the Mitchell Fine Art gallery – an old home of Johnny Romeo’s – is an “innovative and ambitious body of work.” Known and loved for his “neo pop expressionism” his love of comics and television inspire Johnny to create art that reflects much about society.
“So this work’s…got a lot of grindhouse intensity, it’s got a lot of pop cultural references, but it also looks at the Wild West. This body of work is essentially about the loss of innocence and…the themes in the body of work are death, lust, urban decay and it’s almost like I’m painting a bleak pop dystopia where all sense and meaning has been lost to greed and excess…So the show’s about new frontiers, about the Wild West, it’s about the death of the old and the birth of the new.” Johnny has much praise for the current Australian art scene. He views other countries such as America, where he lives some of the time, as “tough” for art and its creators.
“The Australian art scene is epic. There are so many possibilities and what Australian artists are doing is so creative and exciting and to a certain degree, we haven’t really had an art recession as such…And it’s tough in America, people don’t have money to actually buy art because they’re just surviving… In Australia, people still appreciate culture, and people still appreciate art, and because of that galleries are very well frequented.”
And with a following of over 90 thousand on his Instagram, Johnny’s words reflect what people all over the world want, and much of that spotlight is being thrust on our home-grown artists. “So [Australia’s] a really really good place to be at the moment.”
Where Mitchell Fine Art – 86 Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley
When September 21 – October 15
How Much Free
Find out more about the event here
Images: Johnny Romeo