Oscar Romp is unique. Currently residing and teaching in Austria, this Royal College Of Art trained artist is dance culture’s Stanley Spencer. I can say this because his expansive murals which adorned the walls of hospitals like Kings were breathtaking and firmly in the traditon of artists like Spencer and Diego Rivera. That said, Oscar is also a club dancer – northern soul to jazz with some boogie and funk in beteween.

Oscar Romp: Breakin' Conventions

Phil Levine @ The Blue Note

I’ve nearly fallen over the man several times in long gone. legendary clubs like the legendary Blue Note in Hoxton Square or That’s How It Is at Bar Rumba. Oscar would down on the amidst the dancers getting it down on paper with charcoal or pastels before spiraling off into a set of dance moves himself, set in motion by a particular tune. This show has a wonderful selection of these drewings from a whole range on settings. I caught up with the artist at the Blackall Studios in Shoreditch,  late on Sunday afternoon, when it was all quiet and he gave me a run down, image by image, the various club settings and where they fitted in to his own musical growth.

Snowboy @ the Blue Note

He discovered and became passionate about the underground, post Wigan Casino northern soul scene when he was studying painting at Leeds. A regular at all nighters and all dayers, upon reach the capital it was a natural transition into the world of jazz dance which was firmly at the cutting edge of the soul and funk scene and his works document the scene and its characters like Rocky Bryan, Perry Louis and DJ Snowboy. His drawings capture the spontaneous infectious energy of the dancers and when transferred into a bigger, more stylized setting, on canvas they take on a different kind of power.

Unfortunately, the show slotted into a 5 day free window at the gallery and unfortunately finishes today. If you are lucky enough to be in the Shoreditch area in East London – Leonard Street to be precise – make sure you drop in, check it out and meet the man himself. He’s sold quite a few originals and the prints are very reasonable.

Oscar... on the move!

If you miss the show, check out

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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3 Responses to DANCE & THE WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR ROMP… The show ends today!

  1. roberta cutolo-adjaye says:

    definitely a show not to be missed !!!

  2. Oscar Romp says:

    Thank You Roberta. Glad you enjoyed it. And thankyou Paul Brad for that illustrious write-up. Bearing in mind it was a short show, advertised at short notice in an ‘adhoc’ manner via email and FB, (with no listings or revues in mainstream press and media), the event was surprisingly successful! Thank you Blackall studios and Arts of dance for giving me this opportunity,- a perfect venue and platform for my work in central London, which normally costs absolute ‘topdollar’ for hire, but was leant to me free of charge, and with maximum support from the gallery staff. I sold enough original artworks to make the show viable (an even bigger surprise in the current climate). The associated clubdance night at the same venue held on Sat Jan 28th was well attended, and the building was blessed with a kaleidascope of sounds from DJ’s Dr Bob Jones, Phil Levene and Andy ward. Please see my oscarromp facebook account to see the live drawing I made on that night. It was a really diverse crowd of art lovers, dancers, music lovers and drinkers. The Attendance of the latter category was fortunate indeed, because the bar-takings made this night viable too, making enough money to pay the barstaff and security ….(Thankyou Dominic Chipping, Jason Foley and friends).

    I hope to make a similar exhibition/event in Central London in the not too distant future, and I think we could more than double the success if we could advertise more in advance, and keep the exhibition open for longer….I would be very grateful for any opportunities, suggestions or expertise in relation to these ambitions….

    It is worth noting that the two largest, most ambitious works on show at the exhibition (mural-sized oil paintings) were commissioned. An organisation called Lyndons Arts Trust paid me to make these in Yr 2000, and they were hung for 8 years at the Harrow Club Youth Club and then at a school on Freston Rd, West London. Without such sponsorship, these paintings could not have been made. I retained ownership of the paintings themselves, and this is the first time they have been exhibited to the Public in a gallery. What I am really looking for is a new commission and a new context which would enable me to create new large scale works on the music/clubdance/clubculture theme. MY BEST PICTURES HAVE NOT YET BEEN PAINTED!

  3. Go Oscar go! Your best pictures haven´t been painted yet! Am looking forward to seeing them!! Love, Lisa

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