// Video by Anna Shumakova and Jade Milan for Spirit And Flesh Magazine // Article by Crystal Singh-Hawthorne
THE FANCIFUL, FLOATING, FANTASTIC ART OF JOHN ROMBOLA.
John Rombola's whimsical pieces have appeared on book covers and stages, in magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaarand and even Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue windows. His imaginatively intricate and captivating drawings burst with fierce color, peculiar beings, patterns and repetition — the product of a lifetime toiling to capture and hold his viewer in a trance.
Rombola was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1933. His mother, a pattern cutter in the high-end garment business, surrounded herself with style magazines featuring the era's great photographers. Intrigued at an early age by these images, Rombola honed his interests at Pratt Institute.
Early Andy Warhol and Saul Steinberg illustrations share the detailed, fantastic sophistication of Rombola’s work, but while Steinberg found his niche at the New Yorker and Warhol experimented and diverted toward fame, Rombola persisted with his style and preserved the eccentricity of his vision.
His career began with nascent eccentric legends Bert Stern and Irwin Glusker; commissioned by Frank Zachary, his travels to Italy and Trinidad inspired much of his most impassioned work.
Still at work in his hometown, Rombola is confident and unassuming, pensive and imaginative, tranquil and constantly creating.