Artist talk with Nil and Karin Romano
'The Straving canibals', 2019
Acylic on canvas
Tell us about yourself.
We are Nil and Karin Romano. Identical twin sisters, 32-year-old, born and raised in Tel Aviv. We live and create together in four hands, primarily with acrylic and oil paint on large canvas surfaces. We love go wild with colors .We also create black and white works using pen or ink on paper. Our father was a lecturer at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He always urged us to attend academies or institutions of Arts, but eventually it made us doing the opposite. We are autodidact individuals by nature.
Where did your passion for art begin?
We always were attracted to art, aesthetics and music since we remember ourselves.
At the age of 22 we started djing in clubs in Israel and Europe (Dark-Wave, Industrial, Techno Acid and House), but
despite the passion for music it felt that there is something missing. After high school the sense of alienation got stronger and stronger. Hence we are coping with major depression, engaging with people was always a big issue for us. We yearned for something that would fill our life with meaning and help us to ease the daily pain.
Painting was the answer. Finally at the age of 25 we discovered our potential. Our four hands became a lethal weapon of 20 fingers. At first we painted on clothes and patches, then on small pieces of paper. Art, painting and creation are our way of connecting to the world, of feeling a sense of belonging.
How would you describe your work to someone?
Conceptually our art is very feminine. Our characters are mostly female, androgenic or queers. Sometimes we paint ourselves in intimate situations regard the twin bond we share. Thematically most of our works 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.
'Lovers Sharing Spaghetti', 2021
Acrylic and Oil pastels on canvas
What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on our solo exhibition that will be set up in about a year at the Periscope Gallery in Tel Aviv. We are working hard to bring something new. We wouldn’t like to make spoilers so you'll have to wait patiently.
'Touched by art', 2021
Acrylic and oil pastels on canvas
When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?
Before we start to paint we sit together trying to think about a new topic. After brainstorming, we immediately create some sketches where we try to combine both of our ideas. Sometimes we can get up with few ideas and general topic we would like to paint, sometimes we have little fights on final presentation but eventually we agree. Then we start working diligently several days until we accomplish the painting. On our black and white paintings that require extremely high level of concentration we are calculating and carefully regarding the motifs and shapes. On the other hand on color paintings we let ourselves to go more intuitive.
Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?
We are inspired greatly both by music and cinema. Loneliness and alienation created in us a great interest for cinema that deals with destructive relationships and misery. The fragility of human existence has always had a great impact on our aesthetics, that is why we appreciate for example the modern German art in the Weimar Republic that despises models of perfection. We can name few of our most favorite artists directors and cultural figures : Hans Belmer, Leonor Fini, Man Ray, Nobuyoshi Araki, Hilma Af Klint, Agnes Varda, Catherine Breillat, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Isabelle Huppert, Sofia Coppola, Leonora Carrington, Chantal Akerman, Francis Bacon, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar Wai , Jim Jarmusch , David Cronenberg, Kieslowski Susan Sontag, Leos Carax…
'Support your local girl gang', 2021
Acrylic and oil pastels on canvas
What are your plans for the remainder of this year?
To work hard on the next exhibition and to challenge ourselves.