The appreciation of neon has come full circle. It was initially revered for being unique and unconventional, then branded brash and intrusive, before re-discovering its popularity of late. Today, the exotic and enchanting appeal of neon is at its brightest – just look to God’s Own Junkyard as evidence – as well as the timeless work of Tracy Emin, Gavin Turk and Martin Creed.
But there is also a new generation of artists who are taking up the neon baton, reinventing and reconfiguring neon to speak of a new era and of a new time in modern art. One artist leading the way is Olivia Steele – a conceptual artist whose work in neon has been gaining widespread attention across the world. The Berlin-based American artist, who works to the ethos of ‘Be Light. Share Wisdom. Make Magic’, delves into the spiritual and philosophical elements of modern life by experimenting with neon statements and the surrounding world.
The departure from the raw, bold slogans of neon to public installations and outdoor interventions, ensures that Steele’s work has a lot more depth than what we’ve seen neon have before, as she even explains herself that she uses neon lighting to “charge spaces with ironic and spiritual meaning.”
Check out a few of our favourite pieces from Olivia Steele in the image gallery above and find out where you can see her work next here.
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