A raucous and rollicking journey through the wild frontiers of Pop culture “Wasteland’, is the exhibition of new works from Australia’s leading Pop artist, Johnny Romeo.
Opening at Mitchell Fine Art on September 23rd this exhibition offers a fresh new spin on Romeo’s signature brand of bombastic Neo-Expressionist Pop.
Blending elements of painting, sculpture and strip-mall signage to transform the sun-scorched desert of the Western frontier into a lawless, neon, wasteland of sharpshooters and punk rock rogues. ‘Wasteland’ channels the acid-drenched visions of US author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
The series is an adrenaline-sugar rush of psychedelic acid-drenched hues and graphic gusto that sees Australia’s King of Pop kick down the bar-door of the Pop establishment with his most ambitious and brazen exhibition yet.
“With WASTELAND, I wanted to approach my art practice with the same unpredictability and hell-or-high water attitude as the cowboys and mavericks on my canvases”, says Romeo. “I’ve always been attracted to the imagery and energy of country Western movies - not just the cowboys, barroom brawls and lawlessness, but also the pioneering spirit and the desire to forge new worlds”.
Part street artist, part graffiti artist, part pop artist, Johnny’s roots are intrinsically linked to the street art scene of Sydney’s inner west in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Johnny uses the genre of pop art to make bold claims and assertions about history and consequently about both our present and our future.
Drawing inspiration from his own adolescent memories of visiting newsagent comic book stands, the artist’s paintings evoke the larger-than-life covers of classic Golden Age comics. Romeo’s bold word assemblages and bombastic hip hop slogans act like high-impact comic book titles, demanding the audiences’ attention with pithy Pop observations that are as much Run DMC as Stan Lee.
An avid fan of rap music, Johnny Romeo cleverly subverts our associations with comic books and country Western imagery by juxtaposing them with the grittiness of graffiti art and hip-hop.
Considered one of Australia’s most exciting young talents Johnny’s work is fast becoming highly collectable.
‘Wasteland’ opens 6pm Friday 23rd September with Romeo attending the opening.
Romeo will also conduct an Artist Talk discussing his inspiration and practice on Saturday 24th September from 2pm. This is a free event and the general public is welcome to attend. Bookings are not required. The artist talks are insightful and informative and shed light of the artists perspective.
The exhibition is showing from 21st September to October 15th.
OPENING NIGHT: Friday 23rd September, 6 - 8pm
ARTIST TALK: Saturday 24th September, 2pm
EXHIBITION DATES: 21st September - October 15th