Internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo makes his triumphant return to Sydney with his electrifying new series TO THE EXTREME. Following on from his celebrated and sold-out 2018 Sydney show The Last Days of Disco, Australia’s leading culture jammer and Pop artist delivers an exhilarating collection of new original works that pushes the Pop envelope and celebrates the visionary spirit of those who dare to dream and stand out from the pack. The series is a gloriously playful sugar rush through Romeo’s warped Pop visions of the modern world that sees Australia’s King of Pop deliver his most confident and unapologetically Pop works to date.
Drawing its title from Vanilla Ice’s 1989 debut album of the same name, TO THE EXTREME ramps up everything that we have come to expect from Romeo’s inimitable Kitsch Pop style and pushes it to the next level. Colours leap from the canvass with the visual impact of a sun-kissed sucker punch, as the artist masterfully plunders and re-appropriates iconic imagery from Pop culture and art history to create dazzling works that speak to the absurdity of our contemporary experience. Romeo takes his penchant for witty irreverence and tongue-in-cheek humour to joyously absurd peaks, as he creates a no-holds barred Technicolour block party where eccentric artistic geniuses, jazz songbirds and rockstar felines prance and prowl through the dance floor of Pop culture.
For Johnny Romeo, ‘to the extreme’ is a powerful statement of intent, a maxim of radical self-confidence where visionaries and risk-takers push themselves to the limit to make their dreams a reality. There is an irrepressible sense of hopefulness and optimism that courses throughout each of the works in the series, and in particular through the artist’s cheeky depiction of animals. TO THE EXTREME hosts a veritable menagerie of bombastic beasts who have all risen above their limitations to embrace their true callings. In Romeo’s delightfully warped Kitsch Pop world, friendly guard dogs are hilariously transformed into rap moguls, humble rodents become hip-hoppin’ superheroes, and apes take on the outrageous personas of hedonistic Las Vegas party animals.
The thrilling and life-affirming confidence that lies at the conceptual core of TO THE EXTREME is reflected with immense gusto through the series’ slick graphic imagery and powerful use of colour. Each work drips with undeniable swagger, as concentrated bursts of Technicolour hues inject a vibrant liveliness to Romeo’s Kitsch Pop visions that perfectly distills the larger-than-life ambition and relentless drive of dreamers charging through life at full steam. Bursting with taut, refined line-work, Romeo’s Kitsch Pop renditions of Pop culture icons and celebrity creatures dominate his canvasses with a magnetic presence that showcase the artist at his most commanding and defiantly Pop.
Living life to the extreme often means embracing the absurdities of life head on, a sentiment which Johnny Romeo captures with a gleefully anarchic sense of humour in his latest series. Renowned for his razor sharp wit and knack for clever wordplay, Romeo satirises the chaos of modern life through skilfully weaving together seemingly disparate Pop culture and art history references, ranging from Baroque art and silent films to hip hop, goth and the urban organic food movement. The frenetic interplay between imagery and text reflects the immense influence of music on the artist’s work, and recalls both the improvisational looseness of free jazz and the slick, rhythmic punchiness of hip hop.
A thrilling homage to the world’s dreamers and daredevils, the latest series from Australia’s King of Pop takes his signature blend of vibrant colour arrangements, Absurdist humour and slick Pop imagery to breathtaking new heights as he pushes his inimitable Kitsch Pop style to the extreme. In the booming, neon-drenched Pop block party that is Johnny Romeo’s TO THE EXTREME, everyone is free to be themselves and anything goes.