Johnny Romeo

Australian Pop Artist
ArtworkSpecial Projects

About the Artist

Johnny Romeo’s work critiques the madness of a modern world driven by pervasive advertising, hollow materialism and wasteful excess, exploring the way in which we construct our identities through the idolisation of pop culture and brand-name heroes.
Johnny Romeo is an Australian born painter. His work is critically acclaimed in its attempt to represent a visual type of poetic and rhythmic blending of word, symbol and image.

Referred to as a bombastic neo expressionist pure pop painter with a lot to say about modern life, his work deals with the way we construct our identities from the vast array of images that pop culture immerses us in.

His work centres on pop culture, cultural homogenisation, the failures of blind consumerism, media saturation, celebrity fetish and brand name heroes. He mixes pop techniques with street art to critique some of the consumerist sentiments pervasive in society and, at times, in art, leading to him being called a colourist and a pop individualist.

His work is in numerous public and private national and international collections.

Artwork by Johnny Romeo

Special Projects and Exhibitions by Johnny Romeo

The L.A. (Local Access) Residency
Internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery, Williamsport, are proud to announce the launch of their latest joint venture, THE LA RESIDENCY (LOCAL ACCESS). Opening on November 3, THE LA RESIDENCY is an exciting new community art project that showcases some of Pennsylvania’s leading artistic talent in a completely new and forward-thinking way.

THE LA RESIDENCY is the creative brainchild of Johnny Romeo, and brings together an eclectic and dynamic line-up of 12 Pennsylvania based artists. The project features Chad Andrews, Daniel Berberich, Andrea Mcdonough Varner, Matthew Rose, Jeremiah Johnson, Kurt Hermann, John McKaig, Mark Loughney, Brian Spies, Tyler Coey, Liz Parish, and Mike Eagan, alongside Johnny Romeo and his Sydney based artist assistant Abigail Atienza. Curated by Romeo, the line-up of participating artists each represent a distinct and electrifying voice within the contemporary Pennsylvanian art scene. From the surrealism of Mark Loughney and Liz Parish, to the Pop collages of Matthew Rose, THE LA RESIDENCY draws on a diverse and thrilling cross-spectrum of art-making practices. A firm believer in supporting emerging talent, Romeo will also hand-select works from local college and university students to be featured in the show.

Each of the participating artists have contributed 10 small works on paper to be exhibited. Given only 15 – 30 minutes to complete the works, THE LA RESIDENCY offers artists the freedom to remain as true to their style as the short time frame allows, while openly encouraging them to embrace immediacy and a gestural approach to art-making. The paper works exhibited are characterised by a liberating sense of looseness and urgency that sees artists moving out of their comfort zones, highlighting the artistic process at its most raw and spontaneous.

Shifting away from the often personality-driven world of the art market, all of the paper works featured are unsigned and priced at $20-50. In making each
artist essentially anonymous, Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery have given the community the unique opportunity to engage with artworks on a
completely intuitive level. THE LA RESIDENCY aims to democratise art, allowing audiences to develop their own sense of the value of works based
on their own emotional connections and reactions to the pieces, without reputations and market-values dictating how one should feel and for what
price.

THE LA RESIDENCY aspires to capture the wide-eyed wonderment of discovery that we experience as children. All of the works presented are
wrapped in a plastic sleeve that resemble those that cover comic book issues, an allusion to Romeo’s own youth and his early love of characters
such as Batman and Spiderman. By simulating this experience within a fine art context, THE LA RESIDENCY hopes to spark a sense of joy within
audiences discovering artists and works for the first time.

The name ‘LOCAL ACCESS’, in this sense, perfectly encapsulates the collective aims of Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery. THE LA RESIDENCY allows local audiences to access and purchase art made in their own backyard, and engage meaningfully with the art world. Conversely, local artists are given the opportunity to access and develop relationships with fellow creatives, while showcasing the vibrancy of the Pennsylvanian art scene.

THE LA RESIDENCY (LOCAL ACCESS) is a bold and ambitious community project that reinvigorates the way artists and audiences alike interact with art. Expertly curated and masterminded by Australia’s leading Pop artist, THE LA RESIDENCY is a glorious celebration Pennsylvania’s rich and vibrant artistic community.

Zero Day Brewing Company Collaboration
Internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo is proud to announce his electrifying new collaboration with exciting Pennsylvania based brewery Zeroday Brewing Company. The joint venture sees Australia’s King of Pop lend his widely recognised Neo-Expressionist Pop paintings of Australian folk hero Ned Kelly to a special four-pack edition of beer labels. Brimming with explosive colours and infectiously fun imagery, the adapted Ned Kelly artworks featured on the JOHNNY ROMEO ZERODAY BEER LABELS perfectly compliment the bold, fruity notes of Zeroday’s one of a kind IPA blend.

Zeroday is the brainchild of Theo and Brandalynn Armstrong, whose passion for beer and brewing led them to open their doors to the brewing company in early 2015. Proudly based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Zeroday Brewing Company specialises in clean, balanced ales and lagers, as well as shining a light on flagship Pennsylvanian wine and cider. Committed to supporting the arts and live music in Harrisburg, the Zeroday team is thrilled to be working together with a major international artist like Johnny Romeo. The dynamic collaboration sees kindred spirits create a truly unique beer series that vibrantly brings together the worlds of art and craft beer.

Crackling with a tight, zesty energy, the iconic Romeo paintings adapted for the beer labels visually embody the citrus-infused rush of Zeroday’s tropical ale, a scintillating mix of lactose, guava and tangerine flavours brewed specially for the project. The limited edition JOHNNY ROMEO ZERODAY BEERS add a cheeky modern twist to the iconic Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. Romeo offers rollicking renditions of Kelly as a steam punk antihero pulled straight from the reels of a Tarantino film, full of Technicolour explosions and hyper frenetic imagery. To commemorate the event, each of the vibrant designs featured in the special edition four-pack will be available as a limited run of prints.

The JOHNNY ROMEO ZERODAY BEERS are a perfect marriage of boisterous Australian charm and larger-than-life Americana that highlights Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop style. With its brash, neon-drenched depictions of Ned Kelly and deliciously vibrant take on IPAs, the collaboration gloriously captures the undeniably fun and celebratory spirit that lies at the heart of Romeo and Zeroday Brewing Company’s works.

Williamsport Area High School Mural
WAHS Mural by Johnny Romeo.

Plastic Fantastic Hardcover Book Launch
For the last 10 years, internationally acclaimed Australian painter Johnny Romeo has been one of the most exciting and dynamic voices in the contemporary world of Pop Art. Romeo’s latest book, Plastic Fantastic: A Survey Of Paintings, 2007 – 2017 takes a look back at the artist’s illustrious career over the last decade, charting Romeo’s trajectory from rambunctious punk-pop misfit to the Neo-Expressionist Pop juggernaut he is today.
Over the course of 150 pages, Plastic Fantastic showcases some of Johnny Romeo’s most iconic works to date. The book captures Romeo’s electrifying fusion of Technicolour explosions, comic book aesthetics and street art edginess in all its glory, highlighting his penchant for appropriating familiar Pop iconography and transforming it into thrillingly original paintings.
Plastic Fantastic cheekily takes its title from Andy Warhol’s road-trip from New York to LA in 1963. Much like Warhol’s hedonistic jaunt through the seedy backwaters and wide-open plains of the United States, Plastic Fantastic is an adrenaline-soaked journey through the pure Pop psyche of Johnny Romeo. From his earliest works in Live At the Apollo to the glitzy Neo-Expressionist bombast of series such as Top of the Pops, the book reveals Johnny Romeo as one of the most vital forces pushing the Pop medium into new and exciting terrain today.
Ambitious in scope and presentation, Plastic Fantastic is slated to be a full-colour, hardcover book release featuring essays from esteemed art critics. The book is a bombastic celebration of a truly stellar Pop visionary leading the global charge in Neo-Expressionist Pop art.
Lincoln The Freedom Series Snowboard Collaboration

LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is the thrilling new collaborative exhibition betwleen internationally acclaimed Australian pop artist Johnny Romeo and leading US-based snowboard company Gilson Boards. Drawing on the iconic imagery of America’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, the exhibition brings together original Romeo paintings and four custom-made boards that seek to connect the worlds of fine art and snowboarding culture. Bursting at the seams with Romeo’s exhilarating Neo-Expressionist Pop stylings, the series is a gloriously colourful reimagining of both Lincoln and the traditional snowboard from Australia’s King of Pop.

Inspired by the legacy and symbolism of Abraham Lincoln, LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is an electrifying celebration of freedom in all its forms. The freedom to innovate and create lies at the heart of the Gilson x Romeo collaborative exhibition, showcasing boards that fuse Gilson’s cutting edge design with rambunctious, Technicolour renditions of Old Abe. Exhibited as artworks, the Gilson x Romeo Freedom boards capture Romeo and Gilson’s ambition to break down the barriers between the gallery space and the snow slopes. The drive to push snowboarding culture into new and exciting terrain pays homage to the very pioneering spirit that has made Abraham Lincoln the immortalised icon of freedom that he is today.

In true Johnny Romeo fashion, vivacious bursts of bubblegum hues meld seamlessly with slick, graphic line-work and an energetic street-art aesthetic to create refreshingly fun renditions of Old Abe. Uncompromisingly Pop and boldly playful, Romeo’s Abraham Lincoln reflects the influence of the classic skateboard designs of his youth, while channeling the adrenaline-rush of carving down snow-slopes at warp speed. This same commitment to thrill seeking and the joys of facing the unknown informs Gilson’s intrepid approach to snowboard design, and their perpetual pursuit of the perfect ride.

Johnny Romeo tempers the playfulness of his Pop-inflected Abraham Lincoln with a subtle stoicism. There is a piercing quality to Lincoln’s gaze as it meets the onlooker head-on. The paintings and board designs are imbued with an emotional gravitas that balances austerity with triumph, and bridges the gap between Lincoln the legendary icon and Lincoln the all-too-human individual.

Romeo’s expressive and lively take on Abraham Lincoln also touches on the universal resonance that the revered president has taken within the world of Pop culture. As a leading Australian Pop artist painting iconic American imagery on American boards, Johnny Romeo’s status as an ‘outsider looking in’ speaks to our broader understanding of the president as a symbol of freedom within the fabric of the global Pop lexicon. Both the paintings and snowboards on show cleverly reflect Abraham Lincoln’s metamorphosis from American historical figure to universal Pop icon.

LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is a fresh, vibrant and bombastic reinterpretation of classic Abraham Lincoln iconography from two of the most exciting forces in global Pop art and snowboards. A perfect alchemy between Gilson’s innovative approach to design and Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop imagery, the series sees Australia’s leading Pop artist take his work in an exhilarating new direction.

LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is the thrilling new collaborative exhibition between internationally acclaimed Australian pop artist Johnny Romeo and leading US-based snowboard company Gilson Boards. Drawing on the iconic imagery of America’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, the exhibition brings together original Romeo paintings and four custom-made boards that seek to connect the worlds of fine art and snowboarding culture. Bursting at the seams with Romeo’s exhilarating Neo-Expressionist Pop stylings, the series is a gloriously colourful reimagining of both Lincoln and the traditional snowboard from Australia’s King of Pop.

Inspired by the legacy and symbolism of Abraham Lincoln, LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is an electrifying celebration of freedom in all its forms. The freedom to innovate and create lies at the heart of the Gilson x Romeo collaborative exhibition, showcasing boards that fuse Gilson’s cutting edge design with rambunctious, Technicolour renditions of Old Abe. Exhibited as artworks, the Gilson x Romeo Freedom boards capture Romeo and Gilson’s ambition to break down the barriers between the gallery space and the snow slopes. The drive to push snowboarding culture into new and exciting terrain pays homage to the very pioneering spirit that has made Abraham Lincoln the immortalised icon of freedom that he is today.

In true Johnny Romeo fashion, vivacious bursts of bubblegum hues meld seamlessly with slick, graphic line-work and an energetic street-art aesthetic to create refreshingly fun renditions of Old Abe. Uncompromisingly Pop and boldly playful, Romeo’s Abraham Lincoln reflects the influence of the classic skateboard designs of his youth, while channeling the adrenaline-rush of carving down snow-slopes at warp speed. This same commitment to thrill seeking and the joys of facing the unknown informs Gilson’s intrepid approach to snowboard design, and their perpetual pursuit of the perfect ride.

Johnny Romeo tempers the playfulness of his Pop-inflected Abraham Lincoln with a subtle stoicism. There is a piercing quality to Lincoln’s gaze as it meets the onlooker head-on. The paintings and board designs are imbued with an emotional gravitas that balances austerity with triumph, and bridges the gap between Lincoln the legendary icon and Lincoln the all-too-human individual.

Romeo’s expressive and lively take on Abraham Lincoln also touches on the universal resonance that the revered president has taken within the world of Pop culture. As a leading Australian Pop artist painting iconic American imagery on American boards, Johnny Romeo’s status as an ‘outsider looking in’ speaks to our broader understanding of the president as a symbol of freedom within the fabric of the global Pop lexicon. Both the paintings and snowboards on show cleverly reflect Abraham Lincoln’s metamorphosis from American historical figure to universal Pop icon.

LINCOLN : THE FREEDOM SERIES is a fresh, vibrant and bombastic reinterpretation of classic Abraham Lincoln iconography from two of the most exciting forces in global Pop art and snowboards. A perfect alchemy between Gilson’s innovative approach to design and Romeo’s inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop imagery, the series sees Australia’s leading Pop artist take his work in an exhilarating new direction.

TV Land Book Launch
TV LAND is the latest mixed print and painting collection from internationally acclaimed Australian artist Johnny Romeo. Made up of 40 classic Johnny Romeo prints and four new original paintings, the series offers audiences an exhilarating insight into the electrifying works of Australia’s leading Pop artist. The opening night of the series also sees the official launch of the exhibition companion book, TV LAND; a visual compilation of Romeo’s works featuring written contributions from John-Ernest Dinamarca, and notable art writer and artist Matthew Rose. Celebrated the world over for his inimitable Neo-Expressionist Pop style, the works featured in TV LAND reveal Romeo at his most captivatingly colorful, culturally savvy, and visually bombastic.
Growing up during the glory days of Saturday morning cartoons, daytime soap operas and MTV, Johnny Romeo has often spoken of his desire to be a kind of television through his art making practice. The works featured in TV LAND, with their tongue-in-cheek appropriations of television icons, irrepressible punk energy, and psychedelic color explosions, powerfully capture Romeo’s undeniable knack for transforming his paintings into larger-than-life broadcasts of Pop culture.
Often described as a ‘Postmodern sampler’, Johnny Romeo’s works cheekily draw from the full spectrum of Pop culture. Superheroes and cult fiction villains such as Superman, Cat Woman and Darth Vader rub shoulders with classic silver-screen stars and musical martyrs in Romeo’s engrossing, neon-drenched visual TV LAND. Playing with the audience’s sense of nostalgia, Romeo cleverly harnesses the interplay between graffiti-like text and imagery in his paintings to subvert our relationship with popular television icons like Felix the Housecat (Grind, 2014).
Much like the intoxicating fields of color that flooded his television screen as a youth, the works featured in TV LAND are rife with vivaciously vibrant hues that reveal Romeo’s life-long fascination with color. A scintillating sugar-rush of summery, kaleidoscopic tones, Romeo’s use of color aims to evoke the same thrill experienced by Dorothy as she entered the magical Technicolor world of Oz. Works like Texas Grill (2015) and Super Line Back (2014), with their highly saturated, psychotropic fields of color, reflect Romeo’s fixation with television and its ability to transcend the hum-drum banality of ordinary life.
TV LAND, like the most innovative of television shows, ingeniously straddles the line between the accessible and the subversive, between the glossy veneer of TV and Pop culture’s seamier underbelly. Bursting at the seams with confectionary sweet color arrangements, irresistible Pop playfulness and grungy, graphic gusto, TV LAND delivers a knockout punch of Johnny Romeo classics that cements his place as the leading force in the global Neo-Expressionist Pop movement.