Grindhouse: Johnny Romeo at Porter Contemporary

Johnny Romeo is an internationally acclaimed Australian painter. Considered Australia's foremost pop artist, Romeo's energetic and richly colorful appropriation of comic book aesthetics and pop culture is capturing attention worldwide.

With GQ Magazine describing his art as 'part punk, part pop', he draws inspiration from neo-Expressionism, rock'n'roll, graffiti art and Pop Art to create electrifying critiques of contemporary life.

Romeo is represented by many of Australia's top galleries and has had a number of sell-out exhibitions all across Australia and New Zealand.

His work has been featured in numerous publications worldwide and he recently did some collaborative work with the band Blink-182. Romeo had his first solo debut in the U.S on February 21st, and I decided to check it out.

When I first walked into Porter Contemporary I was pleased at how balanced the show was curated. This is to be expected from a gallery run by art dealing veteran Jessica Porter. She always has a great eye and sense of balance with her curation.

I have been to three shows at her gallery in the past and she always is attentive to every detail and passionate for every artist she showcases. Her shows are not over saturated with work.

It's as if she is just giving us enough but leaving us with the feeling of wanting more.

Johnny Romeo calls his Grindhouse exhibition a napalmed-drenched love letter to the Grindhouse cinema and further elaborates by describing the paintings as a rollicking celebration of all things sex, drugs and rock n' roll.

When looking at Johnny's paintings, I loved the paint texture he created in juxtaposition with the areas of the paintings that were polished and smooth. The experience of the paint surface was something that just did not transfer over to the pictures I would see on the internet. Romeo's colors were refreshing and the text he chose and then crossed out are an inviting layer to the experience of each piece. Romeo's raw oil stick approach for outlining and crossing out text is also another quality of his works that I enjoyed.

The crayon-like quality of the line allows you to see beneath the line itself and leaves me feeling reminiscent of my childhood days coloring in and outlining coloring books. I have always been attracted to pieces that leave me thinking about my childhood.

The Grindhouse, Paintings by Johnny Romeo exhibition runs from February 21st to March 30th, 2013 at Porter Contemporary.

Porter Contemporary is located 548 West 28th street New York, NY 10001.

Gallery hours are Thursday 11am - 8 pm and Friday - Saturday from 11am -6 pm. Hours by appointment are available on Tuesday and Wednesday by calling 212.696.7432 or emailing Jessica@portercontemporary.com