For his latest exhibition, “Suovetaurilia” at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Belgian artist ROA created works that interact with Rome’s past and present, resulting in a narrative about humankind’s exploitation of the natural world. The title of the exhibition refers to the ritual of animal sacrifice, a common practice in Rome’s pagan history. ROA created all the works in the show on site in the weeks leading up to the opening, using scavenged furniture and cabinets as the canvases for his black-and-white, illustrative animal portraits.
A windowless gap on the wall of the large Ifö Center building in Bromölla, Sweden looks like a perfectly-suited nest for ROA’s latest mural, a gigantic T. rex skeleton. A former factory with an austere exterior, the spacious building was converted into a cultural center by artists Teresa Holmberg and Jonathan Haner in 2011. The duo is currently developing an artist residency there as well as multi-use studio and exhibition spaces, and ROA’s is the first mural on their walls. Known for his black-and-white animal portraits, ROA, who’s always on the move, says he typically gets inspiration from the local species of the area he’s visiting. While the T. rex is not native to Bromölla, the municipality has been the site of many fossil discoveries that have been a source of hometown pride in the small village.