Chaos Curve

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
122 × 122 cm

No-one in Pop culture quite embodies the dark allure of disorder and the fiendish delight of chaos quite like Heath Legder’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008). In Chaos Curve, Johnny Romeo pays homage to Ledger’s gleefully twisted portrayal of the iconic Batman villain by re-envisioning him as a pastel-hued astronaut. The Joker’s steely, gnarled gaze is imbued with a fearsome determination as he endeavours towards the sunny side of the moon, a place where all our problems can be laid to rest. Shades of David Bowie’s intergalactic glam rock appear in the work through both the Joker’s astronaut helmet, a nod to Major Tom from ‘A Space Oddity’, and the word assemblage ‘Dark Star’ and its allusions to Bowie’s final album, ‘Black Star’ (2016). The fatalistic melancholy of ‘Black Star’ is further evoked through the wittily concealed text passage ‘Dark State’, which comments on the dark state that we currently live in during these pandemic times. Romeo rounds his off his bleak rumination on the effects of the Corona virus in the painfully apt title Chaos Curve. Cleverly positioned underneath the curve of the Joker’s head, the word ‘curve’ brings to mind the dreaded ‘curve’ of Covid-19 deaths and infection rates that has plagued the public consciousness since March. More chillingly, Chaos Curve echoes the Joker’s grim monologue on the disintegration of society, in which he states ‘Madness is like gravity… All it takes is a little push; introduce a little anarchy; upset the established order and everything becomes chaos… See, I’m not a monster, I’m just ahead of the curve.’



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.

Read more about Johnny Romeo

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Johnny Romeo

Chaos Curve

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