Primitive modernist, Antonio Romano, is a classically trained artist with ancestral roots dating back five generations, who developed a distinctive style combining modernism and narrative folk art, with an aura of surrealism and mystery. The influence of Man Ray, Giorgio De Chirico, the Italian Futurists, Paul Delvaux and Rene Magritte is acknowledged, but Romano has assimilated their influence and gone his own way to create stunning and provocative primitive modernist paintings that are carefully and skillfully conceived, designed and executed. Incorporating narrative folk artwork referencing American landscapes, scenes of historic action, or folk portraits of American Indians, soldiers and rogues, Romano is drawn to figurative reinterpretation of historic scenes and art of the past.
A Fresco artist, Antonio Romano has a style that is reminiscent of a bygone era -- influenced by the use of colors from that time as well as its imagery. His background as a fresco painter informs his unique contemporary style. Romano works with inks and dyes, often of his own formula, and with emulsions that he has created over the years, handed down by his ancestors. He applies his fresco and inks to the backsides of “found” canvases and discarded paintings that absorb his intricate layering of inks and images that transform the color palette giving the work a patina that communicates age and a modern sense of history.
Romano was part of the emerging New York City art scene in the 1980s. He has done frescoes for the ceiling and walls of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Albany, Our Lady of Pompeii in Greenwich Village, and he designed the restaurant, Bella Blu Ristorante in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York where his fresco’s still hang on the walls. His works have been shown in several exhibitions including Art Port Gallery, New York, Mary Boone, New York, and John Sullivan Gallery, New York.