Faith Blues


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By Romeo, Johnny size: 120 x 120 cm code: H31263 Medium: Acrylic and Oil on Canvas Genre: Painting

Overcoming darkness and isolation has never looked so stylish as it does in Faith Blues. In the painting, Johnny Romeo ingeniously transforms Leigh Weiner’s iconic photo of Johnny Cash as the ‘Man in Black’ into a suave triptych portrait of George Michael as a guitar-toting Pop avatar. Dripping with an effortless chic, the painting puts a Warholian spin on the ‘Man in Black’ that fuses the funereal blues of Cash’s Americana with the the high-fashion Pop sheen of George Michael and his number one single ‘Faith’ (1987). Romeo’s portrait of the the celebrated Pop star is gloriously larger than life, a neon-drenched symbol of Pop resilience decked out in aviator sunglasses and Technicolour guitars that is committed to embracing life to the fullest even amidst a pandemic. This sentiment is reflected in the artist’s subtle but potent shift of the text assemblage ‘Back in Bleak’ into the tough-as-nails statement ‘Back in Black’, a reference to both Johnny Cash and Australian hard rock legends AC/DC. In doing so, the painting conjures the white-knuckled rock’n’roll grit of AC/DC to make a powerful statement about persevering through bleak times and coming back stronger than ever. Romeo tempers this indomitable positivity with the recognition that overcoming the Covid-19 is no easy feat and will rankle the foundations of our faith, as highlighted in the southern-fried melancholia and George Michael referencing title Faith Blues.