The 6 best neon artists

The six artists more representive of neon art

In this period of the year, in the days before Christmas, we are surrounded by light vortexes, intermittences of color, that crowd streets, shops, malls; so, willing or not, the Christmas spirit is clear, colored and nearly everywhere. But how do the artists use the light? Since the end of ‘60s, artists has been interesting in the light for their aims, in particular in the neon. It’s important to highlight that they don’t use the light for a decorative aim (not intentionally, at least). This kind of material is typically used for commercial neon signs. In fact, the neon is often considered as a communication material for the consumerism, and the artists use it in order to debunk this kind of approach, but also to reflect about the language, to study the space and to test new ways to use a work of art.

Grazia Varisco - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Grazia Varisco

Grazia Varisco is an Italian visual artist and designer. Her artistic experiment is kinetic, and she goes beyond spatial-temporal concepts, by making a revolution in the art. Varisco’s aim is to offer to the public an experience that goes beyond the common one, by using the movement and particular bright sources within the work. In the work “Schema luminoso variabile R. Cubo” (1963), this concept is clear expressed: in fact, the bright work is able to change its shape and its schemas depending on the person.

Bruce Nauman - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Bruce Nauman

He’s a versatile artist, but in particular he focuses on the language study, by using different techniques, included the use of neon tubes. This year the Venice Biennale shows a series of neon tubes that model some words, by creating meanings and equivoques with a challenging aim. Intermittent and fixed lights indicate the need to focus on the materiality and its ephemeral nature.

Dan Flavin - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Dan Flavin

The use of the colored neon, allows Flavin to maintain the primary and simplified ‘60s minimalism shapes. But he creates movement and a new shape at their, by producing new intangible modulations, depth and dynamism, anticipating of a decade the bright psychedelia of Neuman’s signs.

Alfredo Jaar - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Alfredo Jaar

The artist who “lights up the memory”, considers that thanks to the light of neon words, it’s possible to understand the precariousness of our history. He’s a politic artist that often use this kind of material for his installations. For the exhibition “Abbiamo tanto amato la rivoluzione” (Turin, 2013), the artist explains the choice to use materials like glass and neon as a way to “encourage the culture as a factor of change”.

Tracey Emi - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Tracey Emin

She’s a Londoner artist that uses art as a way to express feelings, sensations and intimate confessions. Her life and her past are at the center of her work. She’s a romantic artist, she’s caustic, outspoken, but never gross. She expresses her art through a lot of methods of transmission, included neon, curved tubes that create sinuous shapes for intimate declarations, by distancing herself from other artists. Emin curves the material as she writes or draws with a pen, transforming this material, eccentric by definition, in a creative comma with an emotional personality.

Maurizio Nannucci - I 6 migliori artisti del neon - The 6 best neon artists Maurizio Nannucci

Nannucci’s work focuses on images’ language and on how they can express a concept or a meaning through the combined use of sounds, lights and colors. This kind of considerations often results in bright signs that, even if they impose themselves on the context because of their big dimensions, they are in harmony with the landscape and the architecture, by highlighting the space, so we are forced to reflect about it through the text of the sign.

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