After months of living through lock downs and adjusting to life under the socially-distanced regulations of the ‘new normal’, we can all relate to the feeling of wanting to break free. Johnny Romeo captures this sentiment with fiendish delight in his slickly macabre work Easy Fantasy Life. In the painting, the artist re-envisions the members of Queen as a ghoulish assembly of candy-coloured skeletons in a cheeky nod to the classic silhouetted band portrait found on their 1974 album ‘Queen II’, and more famously re-enacted in the a cappella scene of their classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video. Brimming with vivacious, neon-hues and a dark comedic bent, Romeo’s morbid take on Queen ironically pulsates with a bright, positive energy that invites us to find solace amidst life’s darkest moments. Even the dead in this instance feel the need to break free from their gloomy existence and experience the thrill of living, a point amusingly made by the artist in the word assemblage ‘Break Free’ and its reference to Queen’s campy 1984 smash hit of the same name. Romeo ingeniously re-calibrates Queen’s ode to freedom into an optimistic slogan yearning for an ‘Outbreak Free’ world beyond the Corona virus. This urgent desire to return to a normal existence unencumbered by the pandemic, despite feeling beyond our grasp at the moment, is wittily delivered in the title Easy Fantasy Life, which draws from the lyrics of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.