Nikki Romney - paintings
SONG - new series
A two-year project with a series of works based on cool or influential songs - bringing their words to life in paintings.
Some graphic content.
WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?
1220 x 800
As political correctness spreads, shutting down debate and threatening the democratic freedoms prior generations fought and died for, artists, cartoonists, writers - creators generally - are fast becoming an oppressed minority. Myself and numerous other artists are now being targeted aggressively. This painting features my son Julian as 'The Artist', bound and gagged but bravely eye-balling his detractors. The musical connection is to The Joker Song, from the 2019 movie ("script all your comedy with paper stained in crimson!").
SOUND OF SILENCE
1220 x 800
People fear the consequences of speaking out, and by not speaking, the bullying factions in society become stronger.
In NZ we are no longer living in a safe environment for free speech.
TAKE ME TO CHURCH - SOLD
1220 x 800
The sweet innocence of blossoming love ... portrayed against the archaic, blinkered intolerance of a crumbling, decadent church.
1220 x 800
Take a pinch of ... cultural appreciation. Wrap it up in ... tolerance. Well, my take on this classic song is that instead of churning out coffee coloured people by the score, we should simply celebrate and honour individuality and allow everyone the freedom to be exactly who and what they want to be - regardless of current trends. Featuring Madeline Bell from Blue Mink.
Of note: This painting came to the attention of the beautiful & gracious Madeline Bell who sent positive comments and gave my work the thumbs up. Perhaps my work will help ensure the song and its controversial banning in Britain will be remembered & talked about into the future.
CHANGIN' TIMES - SOLD
1220 x 800
Timeless - never have the themes and messages in this Dylan classic been more pertinent. I've backgrounded my take on Dylan during his Rolling Thunder tour circa 1975 with hand-drawn and painted images from the four big issues of our times - Extremism, Covid, Climate change & Black lives matter.
TAKING TIKANGA TO THE WORLD - SOLD
MOB RULE 700 x 550 - SOLD
Based in part on a speech by Rowan Atkinson on the importance of freedom of expression, and the need for robust dialogue. At Saligia Studio/Gallery we uphold the basic human right to freedom of expression for all artists. The freedom to imagine, create and put forth opinions, the right for all to access artistic expressions, free of censorship, and take part in cultural life – represents one of the key issues for democracy.
THE SELFIE - SOLD
1450 x 950
During the trip of a lifetime to Europe I saw, among many fabulous treasures, Jacques-Louis David's massive"Napoleon Crossing the Alps painting. The Belvedere in Vienna was also packed with visitors ... many of whom spent more time snapping selfies in front of famous paintings rather than studying the artwork themselves. So my reworking of David's famous work was a tongue-in-cheek social commentary. Two people - across history, each posing for their audience. I've portrayed Napoleon frowning at the frivolous young girl daring to steal his limelight.
LET'S DO THIS - SOLD
Touching on Jacinda Adern & Labour's promise to put children at the heart of everything her government, with some cool tags by neighbourhood children and a reference to the reality of coalition politics ... Adern presents a smiley face and talks well - but is she just a show puppet... a mistress of spin? Time will tell. NZ has shameful rates of child abuse & poverty.
JOSEPHINE'S PROFILE SOLD
Back in the days of my youth, I had a strong attraction to this woman and her stunning bust/neck profile, so approached her flirtatiously... however she wouldn't let me paint her nude, so this appropriate profile had to suffice.
THE THREE BITCHES - SOLD
600 x 450
During the 'laying off' of middle aged men in the recent downsizing of newspapers - my partner - the ex deputy editor of the Nelson Mail, came home one day and mentioned the guys were calling the women girls doing the firing 'The Three Bitches'. This painting shows women responding to being called bitches, and in the background historic pics on the torture & abuse of women - simply for being strong in a man's world.
MAKE BELIEVE (artist's collection)
The wonderful imagination of children. The little boy standing on Pippi's pony tail and pointing up at a religious proverb - 'Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of discipline shall drive it from him'. This belief's in stark contrast to tAlbert Einstein's view that the imagination of children should be celebrated, and fairy stories are a must. Einstein stated imagination sparked free-thinking and intelligence. I guess religious leaders want their followers to follow God's word and not have their own thoughts - group thinking. In my view the rod of discipline should be taken to the adults who bring children up to discriminate and sit in judgement of those who are different.
JACINDA - THE WEEPING MADONNA - SOLD
Adern's response to the 2019 Mosque attack was heartfelt, however donning a black headscarf as a show of solidarity sparked backlash as critics pointed out women in Muslim countries were forced to cover up - with their freedoms severely limited. Adern's show of compassion was surely genuine - but why has the artist portrayed her as the 'Weeping Madonna' ... a symbol of religious fakery?
SONNET 116 - SOLD
ELUTHARIA - SOLD
Born again, nude & free - without the hindrance of organised religion and group thinking. The owl represents the death of free thought. The old woman on the right holding her blood-red cross, represents the old-school, conservative view that free-thinking artists are "sinners". This painting won a national award in 2014.
FEAR - SOLD
LILITH - SOLD
It's the 'untold' Adam & Eve story. Before Eve there was Lilith - Adam & Lilith were created as equals, and during sexual relations at times she wanted to 'be on top'. Adam wasn't happy with that - he wanted to be on top. They fought and eventually Lilith flew away from the imperfect Garden of Eden. Then came Eve, created from man and subservient to Adam - man's helper. You know how the story goes....
THE MAORI MONA LISA - SOLD
A tribute to one of the pivotal figures in Nelson history, Huria Matenga. Depicted in a Mona Lisa-type setting, plus modern-day rescue imagery, along with the February 2018 storm that came close to destroying Nelson's iconic Boat Shed Cafe. This references Matenga's role in the heroic rescue of crew of the sailing ship Delaware in 1863.
I originally painted Huria bare-breasted, imagining her as a feisty woman of her time telling the missionaries to bugger off when they said bare breasts weren't appropriate. The nipple rings were a modern element added. Offence was taken by some iwi, and the work stolen, so I decided to present her again with a union Jack towel showing that she walked in both the Maori and Pakeha worlds. Unfortunately I never got the original image back, in spite of a police investigation.
ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE 1100 x 550 - SOLD
We're all playing a role ... some better than others.
CONSTANTINE 600 x 460 - SOLD
Based on the Obelisk in Basilica Square erected to the glory of Constantine and the Catholic Church. Considering the church's horrific history of abuse, the artist sees this obelisk as a phallic symbol representing the so-called power and glory of men.
THE SAD SUNFLOWER 550 x 440
This little girl isn't wanting her cup cake, she's wanting her mum's attention.
BINDINGS - SOLD
Religion & culture are positive for some, however they also limit an individual's freedoms.
THE INSUBORDINATE WOMAN - SOLD
LET ME BE - SOLD
One of my more personal paintings - While visiting my grandson Cooper at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch, I was in the children's room one day working with Cooper on an artwork. A small girl was present, and all conversation focused on God - she was home schooled and heavily indoctrinated with scripture. A lovely girl, however the encounter left me feeling sad.
In the painting: titled 'LET ME BE' - I want to think for myself - I am not a puppet. In the background is imagery from a 16th Century codex manesse - teaching archaic religious views. Interestingly, the painting was bought by former president of Starbucks International Howard Behar who viewed it while holidaying in Nelson.
5.5 TRILLION DEGREES CELSIUS - SOLD
My take on the big bang theory ... science says that 5.5 trillion degrees Celsius is the point at which life begins (based on experiments using the Hadron Collider, and credited with exploding the "God" creation myth).
THE MUSE - SOLD
A work intended as a study showing the creative and drawing process ... I intended it to stay unfinished. An art lover was so taken with the work that she had to have it as is.
FASHION CRIMINAL - 1000 x 550
Inspired by tattoo tourism, buying stick-on moko at fairs, fashion industry cultural appropriation, and an app designed by the Maori University allowing people to apply digital kirituhi (non-traditional moko) to their images.
THE DANCER 700 x 550
Exploring the dangers of group thinking, contrasting with the joys of freedom.
DAMNED FOR ETERNITY
The following works are from the exhibition named above, which was held in Auckland and Nelson - 2011. All the works have sold.
THE ADAM PAINTING
GOD'S ADORATION OF LADY DIVINE
1200 x 600
Based on the book by the priest Bernard Fresenbourg - 'Thirty Years in Hell' - an expose of the "slippery and deceitful path of abhorrent Catholicism" (his words).
ADAM AND EVE
650 x 500
The Bible blames woman for original sin, but we all know who and what the real serpent was in the Garden of Eden!