Air Chunky

SKU: H33506

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
124 x 124 cm Framed


H33506 Air Chunky

Never let people tell you that the stars are out of your reach. Even if you’re an ape. Back in 1961, Ham the Astrochimp took part in Project Mercury and became the first monkey in history to be launched into space. Although Ham passed away in 1983, Air Chunky is a Kitsch Pop-inflected slice of historical revisionism that sees Ham jump back into his old astronaut digs and launch back into the cosmos one more time. The Astrochimp is every inch the seasoned space cowboy, donning a classic Apollo-era astronaut helmet bathed in the explosive glow of neon hues as he gazes wistfully into the distance. On the side of Ham’s helmet, the number 23 is boldly emblazoned, a cheeky reference to the iconic jersey number of legendary, high-flying basketballer Michael Jordan. Romeo uses the number 23 to also tap into numerology, exploring the number’s importance as a signifier of spiritual transformation, innovation, and new beginnings. Ham the Astrochimp exemplifies what it means to not just chase your dreams but turn them into a reality. His fearlessness in returning to space encourages us to never settle for the ordinary, but instead find the power within ourselves to reach our full potential. The painting drives this message home with Poptimistic vigour in the word assemblage ‘Dope Ape Age’, which calls on us to take a leaf from Ham the Dope Ape’s book and ascend to the next level of our evolution by pushing ourselves to great new heights. Romeo toys with the notion of elevation and space travel in the boisterous title Air Chunky. Renowned for his savvy wordplay, the artist riffs on ‘dope’ and ‘chunky’ as urban offshoots of ‘nice’ and ‘cool’, while paying homage to Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan sneakers and his reputation as his ‘Royal Airness’.


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Johnny Romeo is an internationally acclaimed Australian painter. Considered Australia’s leading Pop artist, Romeo is spearheading the global Neo-Expressionist Pop movement with his electrifying collision of rock’n’roll swagger, comic book aesthetics and street art. Described by GQ Magazine Australia as ‘part punk, part pop’, Romeo’s Kitsch Pop works are explosive sugar rushes of Technicolour imagery and urban grittiness that are turning heads worldwide.

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Johnny Romeo

Air Chunky

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