Acrylic and oil on canvas
101 x 101 cm
Released on The Beatle’s highly celebrated 1968 double record ‘The White Album’, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ is today considered one of George Harrison’s signature songs. In Breezy Breeze, Johnny Romeo pays homage to Harrison with a piece that evokes the song’s alluringly woozy psychedelia and drifting sense of melancholy, filtered through an electric blend of Surrealism and Hyper Pop. The painting depicts the head of Harrison staring resolutely at the audience, as an hourglass and an upright guitar with a weeping eye float randomly in the background in a manner reflective of both 17th Century Vanitas imagery and the Chinese divination text the ‘I Ching’. Harrison’s philosophical musings on the grim passage of time in the tune (‘I look at the world / And I notice it’s turning / While my guitar gently weeps’) are cleverly captured in the icon of the hourglass, which is often used in Vanitas paintings to symbolise mortality and the fleeting nature of existence. This balance between the melodic breeziness of the song and its lyrical world weariness lends an emotive and nocturnal feel to Romeo’s use of colours in the painting, with its blend of subdued greens, dark blues and electric purplish pinks and orange. Johnny Romeo further pushes the atmosphere of night-time longing through the text assemblage ‘Asleep’ and its clever concealment of the word ‘weep’. Coupled with the title Breezy Breeze, the artist skillfully conjures the song’s dreamy guitar leads and hallucinatory keys, transporting listeners on a psychotropic journey of self-discovery somewhere between sleep and reality.
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