Neon Artists We Love/ Art Image : Andy Doig
Neon was first discovered way back in the late 19th century and since then it’s been used in all sorts of contemporary art. So we thought we would round up seven of our favorite artists who are using neon in amazing ways.
Robert Montgomery is a Scottish-born sculptor and poet who is known for his site-specific installations created from light and text. Montgomery studied at Edinburgh College of Art and received his MFA and BA there; he has also been the Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Texas. Montgomery’s work is often installed illegally amid industrial and urban sites; he was put into the back of a police van after pasting his Poem for William Blake over a Diet Coke billboard ad in Bethnal Green, London. His installations address themes such as love, power and human kindness and he always conveys these themes through dramatic visuals – usually with light or fire. The installations are often aimed at current political events, for example around the time of the anti-Iraq war protests in the UK, Montgomery installed a striking black and white billboard poem in Shoreditch, which displayed the frustration of a war that was going ahead despite the fact that many people were unhappy with the decision. More recently Montgomery has created light installations in collaboration with the Climate Coalition, and the ecological crisis that our current generation is facing. His work is a social commentary that combines beautiful poetry and striking visuals to evoke feelings amongst the general public.
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Lori Hersberger is a Swiss artist who lives and works in Zurich. He studied Video Art and Sculpture at the Basel School of Art and Design. At the beginning of his career Hersberger created environments and installations combined with video and then later incorporated different kinds of media like mirror glass, neon light and chrome steel. He loves to use a wide spectrum of different media outlets and has dedicated himself to a ‘kind of perspectivism expressed in the exploration of multiple genres’. Hersberger’s art focuses on the different worlds of illusion and reality, but alludes to the space between them. www.lorihersberger.com
James Clar is an American media artist who uses a mix of technology, popular culture and visual information to create amazing art installations. His art is a critique of technology in today’s society and he explores the effects technology can have on an individual and in society. As an undergraduate at New York University Clar studied film and animation and went on to do a Masters at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication’s Program. It was from there that he moved away from screen-based work and started to create his own visual systems by controlling and manipulating light itself. He moved to Dubai in 2007 and his work moved towards covering deeper conceptual themes, like nationalism, globalism and popular culture in the ages of mass information. In 2012 Car moved back to his studio in New York where he currently lives and works.
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Andy Doig first fell in love with with neon art way back in 1992 in Chicago, USA. He returned to England and over the course of two years turned from neon admirer to craftsman. He learnt his skills under the roof of London’s top specialist neon house, Argon Neon, and got to work on West End musicals, popular TV shows and some independent films. He then opened up his own studio, Fishtail Neon Studios in Brighton to focus on creating his own commissioned art. Doig draws inspiration from his surroundings, journeys and personal encounters and his art always has a personal connection to it. @andydoigneon www.andydoig.com
LA born and bred mixed media artist Patrick Martinez uses his passion for hip-hop and graffiti to create awesome pieces of neon art. As a child Martinez was always interested in art and spent his time experimenting, developing and practicing his skills as an artist and later he applied to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he received a bachelor of Fine Arts. As an artist Martinez likes to focus on the phenomenology of his surroundings, and brings beauty to things that are not considered to be conventionally beautiful. Martinez’s exhibition ‘Forbidden Fruit’ displayed the untapped rhythm of Los Angeles and Martinez focused on exposing and bringing life to the things that were overlooked – the security bars and the stucco textures. He combines still life and media to create ‘contemporary still life’ art.
South Korean artist Jung Lee graduated with an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London, she studied the theory and practice of photography, as well as the art of a foreign language, English. Lee is known for her photographs of text-based installations that are set up in empty landscapes. Her neon text signs are similar to the ones you would find in big busy cities, so they beautifully contrast with some of the bare and barren landscapes (for example a stark white snowfield, or deserted plains) that she photographs them in. Lee considers the neon in her photographs to deliver and represent a completely different message to the neon we see in every day life. In the real world neon is often used to deliver a message, through signage for example however in Lee’s photographs the neon text has a more prominent role. The illuminated text unites with the landscape and looks to be a near impossible scene – neon floating on the sea, or settling on snow covered mountains – but these impossible scenes provoke deeper thoughts and memories within the intended audience.
#Inspiration ‘I Love You With All My Heart’ #JUNGLEE #neon #art #contemporaryart #light #dhotes A photo posted by Espace d’Hôtes (@espacedhotes) on
Born in Tennessee, USA, Olivia Steele is a contemporary visual artist who uses neon light to convey ironic and spiritual messages about society. Her work with neon glass makes you ponder and question the uncertainty of life and the reality of modern culture. Steele moved to Europe when she was a teenager and studied Visual Communications at university in Lugano, Switzerland, and later studied a course in lighting design when she moved to London. She uses a wide range of mediums in her art such as rivers, walls, taxidermy and photos, combined with neon lighting. Steele enjoys using iconic images like exploding atomic bombs and the symbolic cross paired with deep personal sentiments lit up in fluorescent lighting to ‘jar the viewer beyond the everyday’. @steeleism www.oliviasteele.com