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Romulo Royo


12 000 € 

Author Romulo Royo

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  • 638-P
  • SOLD
135 x 105  cm
53.15 x 41.34  inch


Acrylic and oil on paper.

Size 135 x 105 cm. ( 53.14 x 41.33 in. )

Year of realization 2015.

Signed on the bottom right of the piece.


This important painting is a clear demonstration within the series, of the different techniques used to achieve delicacy, lightness and an antagonistic transparency at the very moment in time that warns us that something might happen. It is undoubtedly one of the important pieces in the Goddesses series, in terms of both its size and the treatment of the picture.

In the series, Goddesses of Nibiru, he reflects the play on myth and reality. Delicacy and strength are represented by the female figure. He captures beautiful, enigmatic and sometimes almost veiled features, as if in a dream or an illusion. The garments and ornaments that he adorns them with are timeless, objects that may conjure up ancient civilizations, such as feathers and metallic ornaments in contrast with futuristic elements, like strange headdresses and, in certain pictures, beams of light shining out from inside the strange characters’ necks.

Royo brings his own brand of aesthetics, centred on the goddesses that inhabit the planet called Nibiru, following texts from Mesopotamia and Babylon. According to these texts, it is a planet in the solar system that orbits around our star every 3,600 years. Nibiru is the home of the goddesses, of the Annunaki, or in other words, winged creatures.

It is curious that in Mesopotamic mythology a division can be made between Sumerian and Semitic divinities. First came the Sumerian gods, to be later adapted by the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Arameans and Chaldeans (all Semitic peoples), only to then go on to become sources for Christian and Hebrew religions to draw on. And they adapted gods like Enki, Enlil, An and Inanna, among others. In some cases, they have similar attributes in the latter religions as in the ancient texts, though adapted and differently named.


Figurative painting, it seems, is destined to be contemporary art’s perennial sidepiece: always available for a fling, never for very long. The last time one could admit to a passion for it without committing social suicide in the art world was probably around 2003, when the painter John Currin had his midcareer survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York. Currin, known for injecting new ideas into age-old images of the body, was handsome, successful, and youthful. His peers were also of the moment: Elizabeth Peyton palled around with Marc Jacobs, and George Condo bedeviled collectors with lewd portraiture. The year before Currin’s retrospective, an exhibition curated by Alison Gingeras at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, “Dear Painter, Paint Me…Painting the Figure Since Late Picabia,” had opened to acclaim. As the critic Roberta Smith observed in TheNew York Times, “reports of painting’s death have been exaggerated for about 30 years.”

“The body in crisis is increasingly present in our daily lives,” notes MoMA PS1 curator and associate director Peter Eleey, who headed up the “Greater New York” 2015 curatorial team. “Whether it’s in reference to the refugee situation”—he didn’t specify which one, but there are plenty—“or the way the media is processing Black Lives Matter, abstraction has been comfortable—for us. But it doesn’t give shape to the discomforts and questions that I think a lot of us are grappling with.” Deitch seconds that, adding, “This is not a time when a ponderous Mark Rothko painting about myth is relevant.” He ventures that figurative painting allows for more-diverse cultural content—clothing, skin color, setting—than abstraction ever can.

W - Fan Zhong

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