DOMENICO ROMEO on Creating an Opera through Cryptic Artworks

"To me language is everything because it is the base of culture. If you have the right approach to language itself you can also improve, explore and provide more culture in general."

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Meditative, obsessive compulsive, precise. I work to define my world creating a universe of signs, symbols, modules and matter. My research considers the Opera as a system in its perennial changing shape and size and the process as a generating act of basic elements and their association in multiple entities.

Like the creation of an alphabet, whose letters, due to writing, follow each other in words to feed languages. Thus the determination of single and equal blocks that a modular architecture processes and combines in structures, buildings, cities.

Installation view Domenico Romeo | ANM_PEX_002_BER_22 at Nadan Gallery in Berlin, Photo Louis de Belle, Courtesy the artist


What are 3 values that you wish to mediate through your work?

The importance of the matter,

how it can be organized through a modular system.

How the matter can lead a spatial experience shaping the space around.

Installation view Domenico Romeo | ANM_PEX_002_BER_22 at Nadan Gallery in Berlin, Photo Louis de Belle, Courtesy the artist

What are 3 relevant problems that you wish to solve through your work?

Evolving the modular system as much as possible.

Making my artworks becoming my voice.

Making myself evolving through / with my system.

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How can Creatives improve their impact on the world by creating intentionally?

Making something consistent that comes from a new research, not considering ego or wallet.

How can Creative Leaders show a more realistic example of trial and error?

Being humble in their approach to the practice. Being real talking about limits and goals.

How can we become more transparent with each other?

Being transparent with ourselves first.

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Domenico Romeo in conversation with GAHSP via Zoom, 07.28.2022.


I started to study letters and the discipline of graphic design, and at the same time I worked on my first body of work, mainly paintings involving letters. My first idea was to create a cryptic new language. What happened after in the years is that I evolved this alphabet from 2D to 3D. My letters, at the beginning, were just paintings. Just like colors on a canvas or wood. Then they became like iron bars, joints or fabrics that I combined together making sculptures just because I wanted to explore more of the space around the letters.

The real meaning of this language was to talk to myself, to my subconscious. Something that was coming from me and for me. That‘s why it was cryptic. I wanted to put people in front of my canvas, in front of me. When I switched to my sculptures, to structures, it was to involve people, to create a closer connection with them and to call them to me. This creation of the language has a lot more meaning. There is something that I want to say but at the same time there is something you can’t really read. There is this layer of communication which you can approach but at the same time you can’t arrive at the real end of it.

Courtesy the artist

We don't want to lose the experience of language itself. That’s why I trust the real weight of the opera of my own work because I want to bring people back to thinking that we don’t have to lose our approach to the real aspect of life and our communication itself.

To me language is everything because it is the base of culture. If you have the right approach to language itself you can also improve, explore and provide more culture in general. That’s why we don’t have to lose the importance of language and also we don’t have to edit our sentences in a way that the real meaning of it would change.

Language could be a dangerous weapon but at the same time it is a very important tool and it can lead to culture.

Courtesy the artist


I come from a football supporter's culture. In Italy and Europe generally it is very big. It's like an alternative to the graphic scene. I also come from the punk scene in a way, from this kind of British culture. That is my real background and my first approach to subcultures, clothes and graphic design. I started collecting garments, boots and jeans. I realized that was my real interest, fashion that comes from the street. There are a lot of other aspects that come with it, like music. I started doing graphic design but turned my graphic design into fashion. I worked for many streetwear brands, like Off-White and many others.

I lived the experience of being by Virgil Abloh’s side for seven years because I worked for Off-White from the beginning, so I did all the graphics. With Virgil it was about creating collaborative works for the entire globe and bringing these kinds of connections everywhere. I was in charge of involving all these Creatives and making collaborations. Everyone was really connected and it was easy to make this kind of exchange.

Milan is not the best city for collaboration because many graphic designers here are not really open to share or collaborate. But I want to be positive. We play an important role in sharing as much as possible because this is the base to create something, to contribute to culture in general.

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Domenico Romeo invites Sofia Albrigo into conversation

Selfless vs. Selfish: what is a realistic balance between these two states of minds and how can creative relationships help finding it?


Fighting could be a perfect starting point. Only if it helps to avoid the other’s predominance. The second step could be sharing concept being open to listen the other’s idea.



Architect, Milan

A realistic balance does not exist. It is not about being selfless or selfish but about having strong ideas and being ready to share it with the world. Creative relationships, if they are a match, help to bring the individual idea to a superior state. Once this happens it is an incredible gratification.

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Creative Leaders to look up to: Jannis Kounellis, Carl Andre, Helmut Federle

This interview contributes to a new media format, where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. By exploring alternatives to narrative journalism, GAHSP starts unconventional conversations, emphasizing values and problems that shape our lives collectively.

Written and Edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of Domenico Romeo