Artist statement

Johnny Romeo & Kurt Herrmann


Paintings & Sculptures


“For my latest exhibition with Penny Contemporary, I thought we should approach the idea of the ‘retrospective show’ in a slightly different manner. Retrospectives often dwell just on the past, but I feel that BOOGIE STREET offers audiences glimpses not just into my visual journey, but the directions that I want to take my works into the future.

Being able to engage with some of my earliest works for the first time in years, I was also struck by the idea that it would be great to use my show as a platform to support a fellow artist that whose work I really believe in.

Kurt Herrmann is a painter from the Appalachian Mountains in rural Pennsylvania with whom I’ve become close friends. While our works differ in a lot of ways, I see a lot of my earlier work in Kurt’s passionate approach to colour and ability to capture the absurdities of life into pithy observations on canvas.”

Johnny Romeo


Artist biography

Johnny Romeo is an internationally acclaimed Australian painter. Considered Australia’s foremost Pop artist, he is leading the global charge of Neo-Expressionist Pop art with his exhilarating collision of rock’n’roll swagger, comic book aesthetics and street art. Described by GQ Magazine Australia as ‘part punk, part pop’, Romeo’s works are an explosive sugar rush of Technicolour imagery and urban grittiness.

Armed with tongue-in-cheek humour and sharp social commentary, Johnny Romeo explores the way we construct our identities through the idolisation of celebrity icons and brand-name heroes. His visual broadcasts seek to make sense of the cacophony of images that we are bombarded with in our Pop-obsessed culture, emulating television as a way of holding up a kitsch cultural mirror to society.

Over the last decade in Australasia, Johnny Romeo has had a number of consecutive critically acclaimed and sell-out exhibitions across Australia and New Zealand. A major force in Australian contemporary art, Romeo is represented by many of the country’s top galleries.

Romeo has graced prominent national and international publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue, Grazia, Australian Art Collector, the Australian Art Review and Artist Profile. He has also been featured on the ABC 7:30 Report, SBS, Foxtel Australian arts channel STUDIO, and the ABC documentary 'Conquest Of Space: Science Fiction & Contemporary Art’, written and hosted by Dr Andrew Frost.

On the international art stage, Johnny Romeo has generated massive buzz with highly celebrated US exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Florida. 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. In 2015 Romeo made well-publicised appearances on US national television and Pennsylvanian universities to coincide with his acclaimed exhibition and book launch, TV Land.

Johnny Romeo has embarked on many illustrious collaborations, working with the likes of world-renowned American punk band Blink 182, and Lexus Australia as part of the Lexus ‘Art Car’ series. Romeo is set to make serious waves internationally with a number of high-profile commissions and collaborations set for 2016.

Highly sought-after, Romeo’s works are held in public and private collections nationally and internationally. His collectors include major Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Gossett, and Australian Consulate-General to Houston Alastair Walton.


Artist CV

Johnny Romeo 4bw