Art News, Artists, Music and more!

Amelia Romeo: Story of a soul that wants to paint the spirit

Freedom and spirituality are the keywords of her life and her art: this is how Amelia Romeo presents herself through her paintings and poems. The artist, originally from Reggio Calabria, expresses the yearning for freedom as a utopian and unattainable desire: “Freedom is impossible to achieve for the human being confined to bodily needs,” explains Amelia. “In art I have the possibility to give form to spirituality, which frees us from the laws of survival.” Amelia Romeo has recently published a book of poems, combining, as she has done since childhood, writing with visual art. This is how she explains the reasons for the book “Storia di un’anima – ovvero – l’urlo silente di un’anima”: “Written in verse, suffering is sweetened”.

Amelia Romeo defines herself as “a nihilist septuagenarian, but one who still has an inner fire”; she confesses that she has always been accompanied by a kind of depression, a state of mind that, she says, generally pervades the lives of artists. Amelia spent her childhood in the vicinity of Reggio Calabria. “In elementary school, the teacher thought that at home I was helped by adults to make my drawings; once she forced me to draw in front of her,” she says. At age five, Amelia lost her mother; her father, a career military man, remarried her maternal aunt. As a young girl, Amelia Romeo was directed by her family towards classical studies, even though she would have liked to attend art school. After graduating in Classical Literature, she marries a doctor; together, due to his working needs, they move to Sarzana (La Spezia) where the artist will remain for ten years (before returning to her Calabria), nine after the separation from her husband. “A marriage contracted without a real knowledge,” she says, “as was the custom at the time in many parts of Italy. After some time, I discovered that I had a materialistic person by my side, while the spiritual drive was growing inside me”. In Amelia Romeo’s paintings, rich in colors that flow into each other, references to the longed-for freedom and to the immaterial dimension abound (even in the titles). A style that the painter synthesizes in the artistic manifesto Metainterlux, registered at the Italian Ministry of Culture in 2008. The pictorial criteria contained in the manifesto concern the subversion of the classical canons of refraction of light and the consequent reversal of perspective; starting from a surreal-metaphysical basis, through the aggregative and disintegrative properties of light, she arrives at an extra-temporal, and therefore spiritual, dimension.

Since 1989, the year of her first exhibition in Sarzana, Amelia Romeo has participated in numerous awards and exhibited her works in Italy and abroad. She also suffered a singular episode of plagiarism, by a multinational company that produces yoghurt: “In 1999 I had set up an exhibition in Liguria in which I exhibited images of a sort of mutant women. I saw them in a television advertisement. Together with a lawyer I wrote to the company and they immediately withdrew the commercials,” Amelia says. Recently, the artist has also dedicated herself to digital painting, “But the colors and the design of the paintings are identical,” she explains. 

Along with painting, Amelia Romeo has been cultivating writing for years, but she is keen to point out that both are natural aptitudes for her. After going back to university, this time enrolling in Political Science, in 1992 she published a book entitled “The Constituent Season in Italy (1943-47)”, which sold copies all over the world. But her passion for writing brought her back to her spiritual interests, up to the recent book of poems “Storia di un’anima” (Story of a soul), in which the author, among other things, asks herself: can one make people dream with poetry? In verse, Amelia recounts her life, addressing herself to those who, for various reasons, encounter suffering, because, as the author writes in the introduction: “this story, after all, resembles many others, since life and “human living” always repeat themselves, from generation to generation”.