Light Up My Night With Your Magic Glow

It’s been quite some time since my last post. My apologies, as this community means more to me than many others I am a part of. That being said.. let us carry on!

I have become fascinated with the art of light/neon installation/creation (which has been mixed with romantic or ironic prose). Below are just a few of my favorites. When researching the stories behind each piece, I found that each installation carries a very different and very significant amount of depth. Do not be fooled by the, what some may call, “sappy” wording.


(above) These are merely 2 of the 12 installations created by Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater. The 12 Months of Neon Love project began on St Valentines Day in 2011 to celebrate the lyrics of love by history’s well-known icons. The artists strive to evoke emotion in commuters who are invited to emotionally connect with the glowing prose.

“We initially began to think about the train line, and how the location sat in perfect alignment with passing commuters. We realized that if the neon sign was big enough, we could build a roof top platform to communicate with passers by, visually shouting from the roof tops of Wakefield; a human heart felt voice burning above the industrial setting of warehouses. We thought this subject matter would be something that everyone could identify with. In this sense, the work becomes performative, forming a series of moments where couples stop to kiss under the red glow, or viewers from the train smile to themselves on the way home as they remember the tune.” – Wheater

(above) “The Weeping Wall Inside Us All” is a neon sign created in by Claire Fontaine in collaboration with Swedish artist Karl Holmqvist, known for his work with text and spoken word. The sentence is inspired by a quotation from his video work I’ll Make the World Explode. “Weeping wall” is the literal translation from the French for “Western Wall”. The glow quote is meant to give the Israeli and Palestinian conflict a universal and existential dimension.

(above) This is one photo of the much larger installation “The Globe Shrinks”, by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger. It is hard for me to summarize so I encourage you to read J. Lindblad’s article with the ArtObserver. I deeply encourage you to read about the emotional confrontation that Barbara created at at Mary Boone Gallery.

In her review of the show, “Kruger World,” Linda Yablonsky writes, “Balancing self-possession with self-doubt and rage with tenderness, Kruger’s art does exactly what one of her subtitles says: it show us to ourselves. The globe may shrink for those who own it, as another phrase puts it, but Kruger’s perfect calibration of life’s crueler ironies performs a kind of miracle, allowing the blind to see all.”  It’s powerful.

(above) We Wanted is an installation by Tim Etchell who was inspired by Cat Power’s song Colors And The Kids on the album Moon Pix.  “I’ve always loved the song, and if I’m listening to it it’s this small part of a line, when she gets there, that always has the strongest possibility to make me cry.”

As the lyrics go on:
“it’s so hard to go into the city, ‘cos you wanna say ‘hey, I love you’ to everybody…
when we were teenagers, we wanted to be the sky..”

By allowing the glowing letters to embrace the sky, Tim created attached an entirely new meaning: a fragment that floats freely and can attach to each place and each reader in a different way.

(above) The art work itself, is the photograph rather then the neon installation. Artist Jung Lee created emotional prose in neon and reinterpreted their meaning by photographing the phrases in deserted locations. The beautifully romantic and sometimes tragic words contrasted against the emptiness of deserts, demonstrating the hollowness of language in expressing human emotion. More images can be seen at the One and J. Gallery.

(above) Ron Terada is a conceptual artist who uses signage and advertising as art forms. He is best known for his monochromatic and neon signs. Terada’s neon sign “Stay Away from Lonely Places” is an ambiguous phrase, taken from a Willie Nelson song title, which makes this isolated sign seem even more cryptic.

(above) The neon art is very similar graphic design which Adam Garcia created, however it is actually a  one-of-a-kind art installation which Adam created for the Portland, Oregon gallery show Special Characters.

(above) A 27 ft long installation by Daniel Firman. The work provokes a questioning of one’s interpretation of the “world” in which we live. Daniel explains: “without any explanation nor assertion, the work must simply remain a psychological or even a metaphysical question that one asks oneself.”

(above) “The People You Love Become Ghosts Inside of You and Like This You Keep Them Alive”, is Robert Montgomery’s first major work using solar power and LED. It shows his signature laconic and  melancholic use of text as seen in his outdoor Words in the City at Night series. The light of the sun is recycled to power the lights that illuminate the text, as a physical metaphor for the way we keep the spirit of those we love alive inside our hearts after they have gone from us.

3 Responses

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