Stay Up Hustle

SKU: H33516

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
155 x 155 cm Framed


H33516 Stay Up Hustle

As sure as the waves crash and the sun rises, a new generation emerges to carry on the legacy of their ancestors while surfing the seas of new possibilities. Johnny Romeo explores this idea with his signature Kitsch Pop flair in Stay Up Hustle, a spiritual sequel to his 2019 work Great Young Brave. In the painting, a fearless bear cub is portrayed riding Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’ (1831) as a gloriously, crimson red sun rises in the background. Like his mother before him, who was featured in Great Young Brave, the bear is driven by a steadfast determination as he confidently surfs towards an exciting but unknown future outside of the canvas. Romeo digs into this mother-son dynamic and explores how new generations are born to a new beat by transforming the word assemblage ‘We Ride’ into the inspirational statement ‘We Rise’. The concept of ‘rising’ is further explored through the rising sun symbol, a cheeky riff on the cub as a ‘son rising’ up to carry on the adventures of the rebels that came before him. Read within the broader context of ‘Landed!’, the orb embodies new dawns as the circle of life flows from the bear mother to her cub, who revisits her quest to conquer the ‘Great Wave’. This idea of returning is reflected in the work ‘Air Chunky’, which was inspired by Ham the Astrochimp revisiting space for the second time. Romeo rounds off the painting on a youthfully rambunctious note with the title Stay Up Hustle, using it to play on the cliché of children refusing to go to bed while urging us to stay awake in these times of reinvention.


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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

Stay Up Hustle

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