what is “the new neon,” and where can we buy it?
Published Jul 7, 2016 8:00 AM
Voie light series #1, sabinemarcelis.com
We’re flipping for fluoro: from talented artists to keep your eye on to glowing items you can score for your home, neon is the material of the moment.
written by ALEX REDGRAVE
FAVORED BY ARTISTS since the early 1960s, when Dan Flavin and Bruce Nauman set gallery walls aglow in Kool-Aid colors, neon’s electric appeal has yet to dim. Says artist Sabine Marcelis, whose mind-bendingly beautiful work merges light, glass, and resin, “I’m inspired by anything that triggers a moment where I want to look at it twice and question how it works.” In other words, a lightbulb moment for the 21st century.
For her recent Voie light series, Marcelis anchored a slim, circular glass tube of neon into a semitransparent block of resin, creating a strikingly minimalist form. “I’m really fascinated by how you are able to manipulate the distribution of light by changing the recipe of the resin,” the Rotterdam-based designer explains. “A single line becomes very different by passing through another material. I search for this moment of magic in all of my work.”
Lines From No Where by Lisa Schulte, courtesy of Voltz Clarke Gallery, voltzclarke.com
“People don’t think of neon as organic, but it can last for 100 years. I have vintage pieces that still work,” says neon artist Schulte. “Neon is essentially light extracted from the air.”
Death Valley Lovers, 2013, by Thrush Holmes; courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery, thrushholmes.com
Canadian artist Holmes incorporates neon into his oil paintings with a punk rock sensibility, mixing classical motifs such as flower still lifes with bold slashes of color that seemingly pulsate on the canvas. “I typically secure neon minutes after having completed a painting,” says the former carpenter, who keeps a catalog of more than 100 neon elements on hand. “If too much time passes, some of the romance of the act is lost. It can’t be an afterthought.”
BEAM ME UP
Beyond lighting up the art world, neon adds a bright accent at home with these design-forward pieces.
Color therapy meets conceptual art with these bright signs.
Affordable neon art for your home or desktop. Desktop Heart by Neon MFG $99 neonmfg.com
CHANNELING TENNIS COURTS AND THEIR FLUORESCENT YELLOW BOUNDARY LINES, THESE PORCELAIN TILES IN A MARBLE DESIGN NICELY PLAY UP A NEUTRAL BACKGROUND. Part of the Open collection,41zero42.com
Get (really) glowing with this highlighter lipstick for lasting color. Oil Lip Stain, Lip Marker, and Lip + Cheek by Milk Makeup from $18 milkmakeup.com