I am intrigued by pretty much anything and everything…I love museums off all kinds, I find displays of old medical research fascinating, I have an appreciation of science, but I also love fantasy and the creative… which I am finding is an unusual quality in people as I get older. Usually (and I am not ruling anyone out here) people have a tendency towards either the creative side, or the logical process side. When I started writing about art, it was because I heard comments such as “I don’t get it”, “I don’t like art, I don’t understand it”. Generally these were comments from those who tend towards the more logical functions, which made me want to break down the wonders of what can be gained in an appreciation for art. Whether I achieve this or not is another matter, but if I am bringing this in some small way, then I am happy.
With this in mind, today’s choice is something that I rejoiced when I first saw it, as it combines influences from old dutch masters, with a want to share art outside of galleries and embraces that lowbrow art is not something solely reserved for children and teenagers. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my theme for the run up to Christmas either, as this piece also combines a message in my eyes.
I was really touched as I was reading about Romo about his truly compassionate and grateful nature. In one write up it was noted that he was the type of person to ask his audiences if he could take a selfie with them as no one would believe the turn out he got. There is something to be said for an artist without ego, as it starts to remove the walls which seem to have grown making art feel inaccessible.
Romo is a Chilean artist who was born in 1968. He has worked as a draughtsman which enabled him to learn the technique of engraving, along with studying visual arts. In 2001 he moved away from just the creation of art, to making his illustrations more narrative, and wanted to enable a passing of art through the creation of books such as “The Book of Imprudent Flora” and “A Journey in the Phantasmagorical Garden of Apparitio Albinus”. These books have a reflection of Bosch within them, but similarly have the same feel as the book “Codex Seraphinus” by Luigi Serafini in 1981. These are made up worlds depicting strange and fantastic creatures, odd plant life and ways of life that seem distant, yet strangely familiar.
What drew me to this piece, was the feeling of life still going on, even when humans (or what looks like a human) were nothing more than something in a display cabinet. Should be all be wiped out by some virus like the aliens in “War of the Worlds” the plant life and animals would still continue.
The repetitive pattern behind the central image has wallpaper feel to it, as well as reminding me of insects and flowers, and it is almost as though the picture of the skeleton in a bell jar is hung in some otherworldly creatures living room as a remembrance of a species which has died out.
While the skeleton is predominantly human looking, the audience can either assume that the person who it was once, was tiny, or that the plant life surrounding it has now been able to grow out of control without humans working to tame it.
I love the muted colour palette within this piece, utilising this technique to make the work look aged adding to the antique feel and adding to its narrative.
Romo draws on folklore to add to his art which you can see more of here.
I find this work particularly humbling, reminding us to look further than the end of our own nose as one day life may well go on without us.
What does Romo’s work mean to you? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?
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