Always Real Mode

SKU: H33512

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
155 x 155 cm Framed


H33512 Always Real Mode

Swallow the red pill and take a deep dive into the rabbit hole of reality. In Always Real Mode, Johnny Romeo draws influence from the 1999 sci-fi classic ‘The Matrix’, using its central theme of waking up from a machine-made dream world to examine what it means to break free from limitations and find your true self. The painting ingeniously reappropriates the iconic scene from The Matrix when Trinity makes a phone call to Morpheus to transport her back to the real world, her outstretched hand hilariously mashed up with Santa Cruz ‘screaming hand’ logo as the phone line runs off-screen into Romeo’s new reality. Delivered with electrifying Kitsch Pop panache, Always Real Mode reconfigures the dystopian gothic aesthetic of The Matrix into a neon-drenched vision of bold Pop imagery and kaleidoscopic hues that transfigures Trinity into a transcendental symbol of self-reinvention. For Romeo, Trinity’s rebellious act of dialing back into Zion is a radical invitation for us to crack through the façade of the Matrix and turn our thoughts into reality. By making the conscious decision to always live by Romeo’s titular ‘real mode’, we open ourselves up to the alchemical possibilities of personal transformation and rebirth. On this hero’s journey of self-discovery, we may still be plagued by negativity, as illustrated by the screaming mouth of the Matrix that resides within Trinity’s hand. However, the very power to shut out these damaging thoughts lies within the palm of our hand once we shift our mindset from being ‘So Limited’ to one that has ‘No Limit’.


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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

Always Real Mode

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