Better Daze

SKU: H34591

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
124 x 124 cm Framed


On the surface, the raw nihilism of Nirvana sounds like it has little in common with Blink 182’s prankster punk anthems. However, diving deeper into Blink 182’s discography reveals a band who used their inspiration from Nirvana to pen introspective tunes that spoke to the disillusionment of youth, such as their 1999 hit single ‘Adam’s Song’. In Better Daze, Johnny Romeo explores the synergies between Nirvana and Blink 182 to create a work that captures the dark moments where we are doubtful of ourselves and reminisce about better days. Grunge legend Kurt Cobain is portrayed in the painting dressed in a suit and tie as he listens to music on his headphones and gazes at the audience with a vacant stare. Cobain’s suit, along with the altered text passage ‘So Bloomed’, pays homage to Nirvana’s 1991 smash single ‘In Bloom’. The reference to ‘Bloom’ also taps into the floral imagery of Van Gogh’s sunflowers, implying the optimism of future days that are yet to come. Dark shades of blues, greens, and purples, however, dominate the painting’s colour palette, lending the work a heavy, brooding feel that compliments the singer’s melancholic expression. Romeo ingeniously tries to shake Cobain out of his depressive funk through the word assemblage ‘So Bloomed Boomed’, with its allusions to the booming, life-affirming racket of rock’n’roll. The headphones worn by Cobain act as a lifeline for the tortured singer, flooding his mind with beautiful music as he gets lost in sound and drawn out of the negativity of his own thoughts. This sense of finding light within the darkness is extended through the Poptimistic title Better Daze, a nod to the hopeful nostalgia of the ‘better days’ featured in the lyrics of Blink 182’s ‘Adam’s Song’. The song’s bleak rumination on teen depression and suicide is seen as a spiritual sequel to Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ (1991) with its lyrical responses to Cobain’s insistence to ‘take your time, hurry up / the choice is yours, don’t be late’ – ‘I took my time, I hurried up, the choice was mine, I didn’t think enough’. Injecting his work with a grim sense of humour, Romeo changes the spelling of days into ‘daze’, implying that Kurt Cobain is better off dazed looking at us, as opposed to looking dead.

H34591 Better Daze


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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

Better Daze

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