RAHWAY, NJ — Justin Remo may only be a freshman at Ramapo High School, but he’s also an aspiring artist with a creative new vision for Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. On April 16, Remo’s father and executive director of UCPAC, Brian Remo, credited his son with creating a new opportunity for a different artist to share his or her work each month. Remo’s work was displayed and sold in the cafe, where admirers could have the opportunity to meet the artist. Even the mayor of Rahway bought a piece, titled, “The Scribe,” to hang in his office.
“Remo is awesome,” said Mayor Samson Steinman. “He’s absolutely talented.”
Remo works with a variety of mediums, including pen and pencil. He also paints with watercolors and uses computer graphics to create art. A lot of his inspiration comes from nature, love, music and life. Musicians such as Hozier and Imagine Dragons acted as inspiration for some of his work. He also enjoys capturing the detailed portraits of Native Americans.
“I like working mostly with pen and paper,” Remo said. “Why not keep it simple?”
“I’m from Ireland, and so is Hozier,” said exhibit visitor Edel Quinn, of Rahway. “I really like him a lot.”
“My favorite piece is, ‘American Snowman,’” said Quinn’s son, Joseph David.
“Blue” is a bestselling piece from his last exhibit at The Waiting Room in Rahway. It captures an emotional expressional of a girl pounding her fists into two splashes of blue paint. The painting represents the girl’s emotional outlet and the releasing of her underlying sadness. Remo likes to capture what’s happening below the surface.
Every Christmas, Remo is inspired to capture the meaning of the holiday with his art. With pieces such as, “American Snowman,” “Door to Dinner,” and “Cris Cringle,” he is able to portray the Christmas spirit. His teacher, Mrs. Kolaski, instilled in Remo an admiration for the winter holiday. She also gave him many words of wisdom such as, “You don’t have to finish a piece for it to be a masterpiece.”
Remo’s favorite artist is Chiara Bautista, who creates artwork as a representation of love through impossible things and people. There are many messages and characters portrayed throughout Bautista’s work. Remo acknowledges his favorite artist as the inspiration for “Arsonist’s Lullaby.”
“Bautista uses a lot of strange characters and storytelling,” Remo said. “I believe we are all born artists, but some of us choose to pursue it because we enjoy it.”
Each month, UCPAC will now invite new local artists to display and sell their artwork in the cafe. This will give some artists an opportunity they may have never received, had it not been for Remo’s vision. They now have a chance to share their work with the world. If any artists are interested, they are encouraged to contact Brian Remo at UCPAC.
“Some artists may not have been ready to share their work with the world until now,” says Executive Director Remo. “They don’t need to have a certain number of pieces, just a collection will do. Just having the opportunity to promote their work might give them more inspiration to add to his or her collection. Many of Justin’s pieces were created just this past month.”
Remo created the bulk of his work during the past two years. He aspires for a career in the arts, as he enjoys all phases of theater from tech to acting, in addition to visual arts. A portion of the proceeds went to the Union County Sensory Friendly Theater Program.