|Paul Romano, The Portal. Screen Print, 19 inches x 25 inches, May of 2010.|
|Paul Romano, Love Unconditional. Screen Print, 19 inches x 25 inches, October of 2009.|
Romano is currently living and working out of Philadelphia. He's lived in the state of Pennsylvania for his entire life, and he attended both the University of Arts - Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I first became interested in Romano's story because he started out doing commercial art for big companies, but found he was unable to truly express himself artistically. He worked lucrative yet constricting jobs as an in-house illustrator, designing children's software, a successful line of greeting cards, and multiple websites. Though I consider myself an artist, I currently work at a small publishing company in Austin where the design work is very limited and lacks creativity, and I was immediately able to relate to Romano's story. In 2000, Romano finally decided to "pursue a client base that would marry his recent education in brand design with his long time adoration of fine art" (Work Hardened, Bio). He left the world of commercial art and began doing freelance artwork, something I myself hope to do someday.
|Window decal from Romano's show in Philadelphia on October 10, 2009.|
|Inside Romano's solo exhibition at the Toothless Cat Art Gallery in Philadelphia.|
Though very well-known in his home city of Philadelphia, Romano is best known nationally as an artist for indie and metal bands. His website is predominantly made up of album artwork for over 30 musical acts, along with a few quotes from band members. Many of the artists are very passionate in their opinions of Romano's work. One example that really caught my eye is Erik Rutan of the metal band Hate Eternal saying, "I put my heart and soul into music, so as soon as I realized he does the same with art, I said I wouldn't work with anyone else again."Project XxXxX (or 10x10x10) is to be 1000 works, all 10x10 inches. It is an exercise to push myself with experimentation in mediums, techniques, mark making; to continue learning. It is also an exorcise of expelling and exploring ideas quickly, as in my lifetime I will never be able to produce physically the amount of work that my imagination creates. It is a process of weeding out and allowing myself to be more playful. The works themselves lie in a limbo between sketch book and a high polished "finished" piece. The mediums and surfaces will range. Printmaking processes will be used, however all works will be original and one of a kind.
I'm a big science-fiction fan, and I like to let my imagination run wild when creating artwork. Paul Romano is clearly the same way, and he creates some of the most fantastical, imaginative art I've ever experienced. I can only hope his artwork breaks out of the Philadelphia underground scene and someday garners the national critical acclaim that it deserves.