Astro Hustle

SKU: H34590

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
124 x 124 cm Framed


Get ready to soar through the galaxy with one of Pop culture’s most unlikely cosmic explorers, Laika the Dog, in Johnny Romeo’s vibrant homage to space travel, Astro Hustle. Beginning her life as a stray mongrel on the streets of Moscow, the beloved space dog went on to make history as the first animal to orbit Earth. Laika’s maiden voyage to the heavens aboard the Sputnik 2 satellite, however, ended in tragedy after she died from overheating while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. In Astro Hustle, Johnny Romeo playfully rewrites Laika’s story, envisioning a neon-drenched alternate universe where the intrepid Soviet cosmo-hound survives her ill-fated voyage and is gearing up for her next celestial adventure – this time to the moon. Bathed in the incandescent glow of celestial nebula while donning her signature cosmonaut helmet, the painting’s portrayal of Laika very much embodies the heroic hound immortalized in Moscow’s Monument to the Conquerors of Space. At the same time, Romeo riffs on canine humour and Soviet imagery, using the Russian Cyrillic alphabet to hilariously spell ‘woof woof!’ on Laika’s helmet. Recently, there have been reports that NASA will set up a human base on the moon to use as a stopover for space tourists to travel to Mars. Romeo cheekily employs the word assemblage ‘Moon Bound’ to pull Laika from the annals of 1950’s Soviet history into the present, resurrecting her as a pioneering ‘moon hound’ taking to the stars once again on a new mission to inhabit the moon. Read in this light, the plucky title Astro Hustle evokes the excitement and lawlessness of this new space age we find ourselves in, where spacefaring thrill-seekers and interstellar tycoons are pushing the limits of travel and tourism to Mars and beyond.

H34590 Astro Hustle


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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

Astro Hustle

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