Munchies Art club presents new works from our wonderful featured twins Nil and Karin Romano.
They just had an exhibition in Tel Aviv at the Periscope gallery, curated by Sari Paran, that they would love to share with you.
We start off with a few questions we asked the artists and then following you can read the beautifully written text about the artists and their work by curator Sari Paran.
Conceptually our art is very feminine.
Our characters are mostly female, androgenic or queers.
Sometimes we paint ourselves in intimate situations regarding the twin bond we share.
Thematically most of our works are focused on an intense relationship and bondage between individuals who try to survive and exist in a chaotic, destructive and threatening world.
In order to survive, our characters perform rituals of any kind.
In terms of technique, a conventional perspective is not a pattern we feel committed to.
Objects and figures often merge with each other creating visual deception.
Our solo exhibition „Kishufim“ has just ended.
We produced a series of large canvases flooded with fantastic subject-matter, realised in sumptuous, substantial colours, alongside smaller expressive and spontaneous works — all of which exhibit the same mastery of a range of painting techniques (including scratching, engraving, and glueing etc.) employed in innovative combination to generate a seismic energy.
We think that what made this exhibition special and different is that we showed all of our artistic sides . We were working one full year non stop for this exhibition.
We feel it’s time to recharge and rest a little before we start to work on our next solo exhibition.
We worked daily , days and nights , we went to sleep dirty from colours and woke up thirsty for hard work.
It was definitely worth the hard effort because we got so much good feedback and the visitors were so intrigued by our art.
It's overwhelming to be able to touch like this with no need for words.
We feel that we put our cultural stamp on this planet and this gives us a lot of satisfaction.
The exhibition took place in the Periscope gallery, in Tel Aviv.
It was running from 28.7- 27.8 and curated by Sari Paran.
The exhibition night was extremely exciting, full of emotions.
So many people came and we weren't ready for this so we were very euphoric.
People were waving their hands to say hi and we did not notice because we were so euphoric and overwhelmed. haha.
Hundreds of visitors came to share with us this special moment.
We also built a very strong connection with our curator, Sari Paran.
Let's say she knows us from close because we came to a point where we were so open with her and we were able to show her our vulnerable sides.
That means a lot.
We have a solo exhibition that is planned for next year.
But besides that, we have big plans for this world.
Stay tuned haha.
We are big dreamers, we feel we have a lot more to say...
Touched by darkness, untamed and inseparable, witchcraft pulses through the veins of identical twins Nil and Karin Romano, who paint in a compulsive symbiosis, working together intuitively as if sharing a single mind.
They produce series of large canvases flooded with fantastic subject-matter, realised in sumptuous, substantial colours, alongside smaller expressive and spontaneous works — all of which exhibit the same mastery of a range of painting techniques (including scratching, engraving, and glueing etc.) employed in innovative combination to generate a seismic energy.
In addition to their work in colour, the twins also create in black-and-white, producing rich designs inspired by art nouveau, Persian Miniatures, and Muslim arabesque.
Their intense graphic oeuvre is meticulously planned down to the last detail and shows the influence of several subcultures, such as outsider, naive, and folkloristic art.
The sisters construct dramatic tableaux reminiscent of Polanski, Kieslowski, and the dark expressionist cinema of Jodorowsky, as well as the thriller narratives of Edgar Allan Poe and the literature of the Decadent Movement.
Their style also captures something of Odilon Redon’s Symbolism, German and northern European Expressionism, the Gothic, and the unsettling impact of works such as Goya’s ‘Los caprichos’ and the hellish visions of Hieronymous Bosch.
This intricate web of cultural reference, combining images of hybrid animalistic demons, everyday objects taken out of context, as well as architectural detail from various historical periods, all serves as the setting for an orgasmic dance, impregnated with sexual desire and ecstasy.
At the centre of our gaze, the twins set beautiful women endowed with superhuman strength, replicated in their disintegrating figures and then replicated again in painted mirrors at the edges of the work.
The effect is that of a Felliniesque festival reflected through an endless kaleidoscope, projecting the Romano’s turbulent inner worlds onto canvas.
They depict, with great precision, impossible dreamlike scenes set in unknown foreign lands that unfold before us like a tarot card spread, replete with esoteric symbols from the fields of astrology and mysticism, and the dramas they create as a result of wars between the sexes often end in suffocation and death.
They are set in a chaotic primaeval forest, where Nil and Karin try to impose order through stylistic symmetry that sets out to balance the normal and the abnormal and moderate the intense emotion that bursts from the works towards the observer who cannot fail to be touched by their power.
Multiple perspectives, sometimes distorted, combined with images of flora and fauna, receive an emotional interpretation that is both unique and extreme.
The viewer may move between poles of attraction and repulsion, but cannot remain indifferent to the colourful richness, the enigmatic images, and the symbol-laden iconography.
The sisters treat the exhibition of their work with reverence, working tirelessly for many hours a day in a state that can only be described as a kind of ritual ecstasy.
Their tornado-like energy and charisma seem to hark back to an older age when worship, fantasy, magic, and ritual were in the hands of shamans who interceded with gods and spirits - representing our primordial fears - on our behalf.
“Together we let our negative emotions come out through our work,”
they observe in an interview with Avi Pitchon featured in The Gallery arts supplement in Israel's Haaretz newspaper (February 2021),
“We like to feel the brush in the paint… to feel the paint on the fingers till it hurts. That's what excites us... the physical pain relieves the emotional anguish.”
Free from the limitations of artistic convention, the twins' voice is fresh and authentic.
Their work would be an excellent fit for the current Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art (2022), where this year’s theme is taken from The Milk of Dreams (2017, English ed.), a book by the surrealist painter and novelist Leonora Carrington.
The unknown in its various aspects, immersed in bursts of expressive colour, accompanied by distortions of proportion and grotesque figures imprisoned by nature, humanity, and demonic forces, form an integral part of Nil and Karin's world, placing them in the same creative space as the outsider artists currently starring in the biennale.
‘The Great Reality’, a term coined by Kandinsky and adopted by many surrealists, is the only true reality that exists for the sisters, one that comprises a glowing mosaic of alchemy, magic and legend.
“In this chaotic forest, Kishufim (witchcraft ) represents an attempt to experience reality,”
the two conclude,
“spells and incantations offer us a chance to bribe stifling ‘normality' which obeys the laws of physics and cling for a few more moments to the release of the supernatural.”
While they try to curb the extreme emotion that erupts from their art— lest it engulf them entirely— it’s true that sometimes this self-regulation is in vain.
Nevertheless, for those who dare to look, the work of the Romano twins presents a challenging jewel box of narrative art…
The Thousand-and-One-Nights glimpsed through a forbidden keyhole.
Text written by the curator Sari Paran, August 2022.