Smoke Spin

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
125 × 125 cm framed

H31280 Smoke Spin

Soar through the heavens and breathe in the sweet, crisp air of good vibes with childhood icon Smokey Bear in Johnny Romeo’s gleefully quirky ode to optimism, Smoke Spin. Inspired by the upbeat tune ‘When Smokey Sings’ by 80’s electro-pop outfit ABC, the painting depicts the perpetually chipper Smokey Bear smiling at the audience as he flies a small plane through a vivacious expanse of sugary sweet hues. Romeo hilariously pushes the romantic lyricism of ‘When Smokey Sings’ in an absurdly literal direction, re-interpreting the refrain ‘like a bird in flight, taking off on a hot sweet night… [Smokey] soothes it right… And every thing’s good in the world tonight’ as the beloved childhood mascot flying like a bird and taking a ‘smoke spin’ through the skies as he spreads happiness to all. Allusions to dreams and psychedelia are made through the number 9 found on the plane. A sly nod to the Beatles ‘Revolution #9’ and its flirtations with the avant-garde, the number 9 acknowledges the creative collaboration between John Lennon and the experimental Yoko Ono, while creating an ingenious connection to the John and Yoko focused work Tears 4 Fears. The irrepressible positivity of Romeo’s Smokey Bear is given another musical spin in the phrase ‘Beat It’. More than just a tongue-in cheek reference to Michael Jackson’s 1982 mega hit, ‘Beat It’ is a triumphant chant that urges us to not just ‘bear’ the current Corona pandemic, but overcome it.


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

Smoke Spin

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