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New Radicals by Johnny Romeo

10 May - 3 June, 2024

“It’s hard to ignore that the world is in a dark place right now. From the harrowing conflicts in Gaza and the Ukraine, to the devastating impacts of climate change and global economic hardship, it’s been a struggle to stay positive. However, I’m a firm believer in the life-affirming power of art to inspire and change the world.

With my latest body of work, I wanted to focus on hope and optimism, and to help shift the cultural conversation away from the constant feedback loop of hopelessness and negativity. While developing the concept for the series, I rediscovered the uplifting single ‘You Get What You Give’ from the late 90’s rock band New Radicals. The song immediately spoke to me, with its uplifting message of holding on to hope and daring to dream in a seemingly mad world. At the same time, there was a spunky, rebellious attitude in Gregg Alexander’s lyrics that inspired the central concept of my latest body of work: ‘the New Radical’.

Far from the dark connotations we associate with radicalism nowadays, the New Radicals of my work are rebels and visionaries who strive to improve the world around them by standing up to injustice and disrupting the status quo. Straddling the line between the personal and the political, New Radicals is at its very core a celebration of life, and the power that lies within each of us to not just imagine but build a world where love and community thrive”.

Johnny Romeo