Art is pop, life is still, we are masked

19 Karen contemporary artspace is wrapping up the year with three interesting and surprisingly complementary exhibitions; Johnny Romeo’s explorations of pop culture and iconography treats you for a dose of mesmerizing colour and dominant shapes, Carolyn O’Neill’s simplified aesthetics portray the everyday beauty in life and Skount reflects your deepest fears and desires through his surreal study of our latent inner selves.

Johnny Romeo is a world renowned Pop sensation with shows, events and book launches here and in the USA, numerous exhibitions in New Zealand, Germany, USA and Australia. He has been featured on the front cover of this month’s issue of UK based Arts and Culture magazine The Sublime Zine and now his work has is exhibited in Karen 19 to treat us just in time for the festive season.

“My latest series, ‘POP LIFE’, is a Technicolor celebration of all things Pop. By removing text from my usual visual vocabulary, I’ve been able to experiment with more innovative compositions on canvas while allowing my subject matter to really speak for itself. In doing so, these paintings delve deep into the pervasive power of iconography in Pop culture, “ Romeo elaborates.

Carolyn O’Neill then again is a former psychiatric nurse, now a full-time artist, who over time has developed her own aesthetic. Her aesthetics are largely inspired by her obsession with mid-century modernism for its clean lines and timeless designs. “A couple of years ago I began to sketch on an almost daily basis. My subject matter consisted of collected objects in my home like espresso pots, cacti and vases which express my obsession for the mid-century modernist aesthetic. This body of work translates these sketches into oil paintings”.

And from Australian pop culture and everyday aesthetics, the gallery leads us into its third exhibition by Spanish artist Skount. Inspired by classical theatre, deities and ornamentations from different cultures and aesthetics from VXII century, Skount presents a metaphorical seeking for our inner self, a surreal study of our latent inner universe in -‘Projections – Internal Latent’. “How by removing a metaphorical mask and by leaving behind hidden feelings, thoughts or desires, the person can try to look for his inner self, adopting behaviors of other people close to him. This creates an inner self as a projection of other people or a fusion of our inner universe with each person that is part of our life.”

These exhibitions are a definite treat for the art lovesr amongst us but if the festive season doesn’t take you into a gallery, do not despair. During his time in Australia Skount painted numerous public murals, one of which you can see in Mermaid Waters. Carolyn O’Neill impressed the interior designers of the Nine network reality tv-show The Block and her work has been included in the series and if your local news agency doesn’t stock The Sublime zine, you can always get your copy online.

All three exhibitions run until 30 January at 19 Karen Gallery at Mermaid Beach.

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