Johnny Romeo is an Australian contemporary pop artist. His works infuse the aesthetics of print-based Warholian Pop with a street-art speed and grit, all executed through some strange on-canvas alchemy in acrylic and oil. The works heavily reference recent and current popular culture, unabashedly harvesting politicians, celebrities, pinups, and comic book heroes and villains, as protagonists. Rendered in muted pop hues, like high vibrancy paint applied thinly over stubborn grey concrete, these recognisable personalities often juxtapose witty stenciled wordplay, some letters scratched out to create unlikely double and triple entendres out of previously stale slogans and rehashed platitudes. Through that graphic style Romeo equally engages in, and simultaneously critiques consumer culture and branding in relation to the construction of personal identity. The artist exposes the childishness of our apparent ideals and elucidates what western culture has found to replace its heroes.
Australian, lives and works in Sydney and Los Angeles.
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.
Armed with tongue-in-cheek humour and razor-sharp social commentary, Johnny Romeo is today renowned as a world-leading culture jammer. His works explore the influence celebrity icons and brand-name heroes have on our contemporary identity. Romeo approaches his art-making practice like a television, broadcasting colourful Postmodern visions that re-contextualise and seek to make sense of the daily cacophony of images, ads and memes we are bombarded with in our Pop-obsessed culture.
Over the last decade, Johnny Romeo has enjoyed a successive number of critically acclaimed and sold-out exhibitions across Australia, New Zealand and the US. Romeo has continued his dominance as a world-class Pop artist in 2021 and 2022 with acclaimed and sell-out exhibitions in Sydney, Perth, Auckland, Canberra, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. In 2018, Romeo notably exhibited at the Australian Consulate-General in New York. He was a highly celebrated feature artist in Brisbane’s Sign of the Times group exhibition, alongside street art juggernauts Banksy, Blek le Rat and Swoon. A major force in contemporary Pop art, Romeo is represented by many top galleries both in Australia and overseas.
Romeo has graced a number of prominent publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue, Australian Art Review, Artist Profile and No Cure Magazine. Television features include the ABC 7:30 Report, Foxtel’s STVDIO, and the ABC documentary ‘Conquest of Space: Science Fiction & Contemporary Art’, written and hosted by renowned art critic Dr. Andrew Frost.
On the international stage, Johnny Romeo is a Pop Art tour de force, with hugely celebrated exhibitions in the US, including, New York, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Williamsport, Harrisburg), Florida and New Orleans, and in Malmö, Sweden. He has participated in several high-profile group shows across the US and Europe, including Language Art, alongside childhood hero and Pop Art icon Robert Indiana. Romeo made a massive splash as a celebrated featured artist in POP AUSTIN 2017, exhibiting with contemporary art powerhouses like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Mr. Brainwash. Over the past three years, Romeo has made many standout appearances on US national television and universities. Since 2015, he has released three books examining his paintings and art-making practice: TV Land (2015), 10-year retrospective survey Plastic Fantastic (2017) and Pump Up the Jams: Culture Jamming in the Works of Johnny Romeo (2019).
As one of the biggest names in Pop art today, Romeo’s works are highly sought-after globally, and are held in prominent Australian and international public and private collections. He has collaborated on many illustrious projects with the likes of leading US snowboarding company Gilson Boards, craft beer alchemists Zeroday Brewing Company, world-famous punk band Blink 182 and Lexus Australia.