5 contemporary artists using neon

5 contemporary artists using neon

Giorgia Massari · 3 weeks ago · Art

A rapid commercial success, neon was born in 1910 from an invention by Georges Claude and was immediately used by industrialists and advertisers because of its visual power. Neon illuminated signs entered domestic homes and invaded cities, particularly large American and eastern metropolises, changing their appearance and conquering them with garish light. Very soon neon made its entry into the artistic field as well, with artists in fact grasping its versatility, manageability and communicative power.
One of the first artists to use neon was the Italian Lucio Fontana, who in 1930 used it together with black light in some of his Ambientazioni. The consolidation and development of this new medium within the art world occurred around the 1950s and 1960s, when conceptualists used neon for lettering or to illuminate objects and environments. Among the many include Italians Mario Merz and Maurizio Nannucci, Americans Dan Flavin and Bruce Nauman (who recently concluded his solo exhibition Neon Corridors Room at Hangar Bicocca in Milan).

Neon Art | Collater.al
Bruce Nauman, Neon Corridors Rooms, Hangar Bicocca di Milano

The practice of using neon in art consolidated to such an extent that it persisted over the years and is still incredibly current and widely used today. The public enthusiastically embraces this technique, probably because of its strong impact and fluorescent colors.
Many contemporary artists include the “fluorescent tube” within their works, in some cases taking up the concept of transcribing words and phrases, in others exploiting its light power, and in still others juxtaposing it with contrasting elements.
We have selected five contemporary and international artists who use neon in their works that you should discover.

#1 Arthur Duff

Arthur Duff (1973) was born in Germany and lives and works in Vicenza, Italy. His research focuses on creating complex spaces of visual and physical experience, using laser projections, pulsating images and neon lights. In Duff’s works technology is brought into contact with nature, science and the body are brought into relationship. Exemplary is his 2018 work titled No plot displayed in the Emerging Nature exhibition at the Marignana Gallery in Venice, Italy, in which a red neon tube is placed on two lava rocks, reciting the words “no plot.”

#2 Pedro Torres

Pedro Torres (1982) was born in Brazil and lives and works in Barcelona. The artist focuses his artistic practice on issues related to the concepts of time, distance, memory, language and image. Pedro almost always chooses blue neon, as in his latest site-specific work entitled Clathratus made for Spazio Volta in Bergamo.

#3 Yuko Mohori

Yuko Mohori (1980) was born in Japan and lives and works in Tokyo. The artist recently exhibited at the group show Japan Body Perform Live at PAC in Milan with the installation Moré Moré. This work makes explicit her interest in installation and sculpture that stems from the need to focus on moving phenomena that change according to the conditions of the environment. Yuko Mohori uses everyday objects, such as sponges, pots and pans, connecting them together by plastic pipes within which water flows, pumped by motor-driven mechanisms. The water follows a path that meets and intertwines with neon tubes, at the same time generating sounds caused by the musical instruments it inserts.

#4 Riccardo Cenedella

Riccardo Cenedella (1994) was born in Turin and graduated from MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martins. He is a designer and is dedicated to creating custom objects, experimenting with new materials with a focus on the practice of recycling. In the creation of his sculptural work Carpet Matter Lamp, the designer incorporates a light component that resembles neon but is not, finding a replacement for classic neon, which, while not over-consuming, is considered hazardous waste. In fact, the work is made using round pieces of discarded synthetic material combined with a Neonflex LED.

#5 Hyun Cho

Hyun Cho (1982) was born in South Korea and lives and works between America, South Korea and Italy, where she is represented by Ramo Gallery in Como. Her artistic practice of playing with words is highlighted by her use of neon, an example of which is the work Up To 200% Off, conceived a few years ago thinking about the concept of freedom in contemporary times.

5 contemporary artists using neon
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5 contemporary artists using neon
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Brice Gelot, “For the love of god”

Brice Gelot, “For the love of god”

Tommaso Berra · 2 days ago · Photography

For the love of God is an expression that expresses an image of religion understood as a solution to salvation, often associated with a sense of dissatisfaction or impatience. It is in common use, embedded in language as much as religion itself is pervasive, for multiple and complex reasons, in society.
“For the love of god” is also the title of the photographic series by French artist Brice Gelot, which Collater.al is publishing in full preview. The gaze is toward religion – the Christian Catholic religion in particular – understood as a social-cultural system of behavior, which exceeds rational explanations by tending toward transcendence. It is perhaps in this never running out of meaning in the real world that the success of religious art over the centuries lies, called upon to interpret and depict symbols that are always the same but take on new meanings from time to time.

Photographing faith becomes for Brice Gelot an expression of the reality. Observing how people face the challenges of nature and photographing them means living a life of faith firsthand, which becomes a tool for understanding and analyzing what is sacred and profane.
In Gelot’s shots, it emerges how religion is part of the human experience and how it represents a force that can shape the world around us and its aesthetic representation. Tattoos, statues, icons, niches for the veneration of saints, the artistic imagery in these photographs is not metaphysical but real, living along the streets and on people’s skin.

Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot | Collater.al
Brice Gelot, “For the love of god”
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Brice Gelot, “For the love of god”
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The inner landscapes of Tetyana Maryshko

The inner landscapes of Tetyana Maryshko

Giorgia Massari · 3 days ago · Photography

The haze of uncertainty, which came with the advent of the pandemic and the subsequent Ukrainian war, swept over photographer Tetyana Maryshko, so much so that it led her to create a long-lasting photographic project in which she relentlessly searches for her own essence. Through a path made of honesty to herself, the Ukrainian photographer explores her inner self by making self-shots in which she blends personal and relational elements. “There is me, the camera and the truth,” says the artist.
Each photograph captures a reflection, a conversation, a still moment in time that dialogues with her soul. The shots, in black and white and color, attempt to go beyond the aesthetics of the subject by applying a veil of blurring that prevents the image from being clearly read, or by inserting textured surfaces in front of the lens, such as wet glass or bubble wrap. At other times, however, the photograph is clear and sharp, such as her shot in the bathtub, which hints at suffering. The gaze is lost in emptiness, the flushed eyes exude weeping and despair while the tight lips communicate helplessness, that feeling that every human being feels in the face of war.

An element that recurs often in Tetyana Maryshko’s is the flower, placed in dialogue with the body: placed along the spine or in front of the eyes, to cover the gaze, symbolizing a desire for rebirth. Tetyana tells how it was a long, difficult and troubled journey: “When we turn the camera toward ourselves, we embark on a journey of self-discovery that requires introspection and vulnerability… In the end, this project was not just a personal journey, but a universal one. A testimony to the human experience.”

The inner landscapes of Tetyana Maryshko
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The inner landscapes of Tetyana Maryshko
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The male body taxonomy by Francesco Paolo Gassi

The male body taxonomy by Francesco Paolo Gassi

Laura Tota · 4 days ago · Photography

Inhabiting a body means perceiving it, recognizing oneself in it and being recognized. It means feeling familiar to oneself and to others, relating to the World through nerve endings, fat and senses.
The body is the core center of our own identity and will, and the nude has long been a favorite subject for photographers since the birth of the photographic medium. However, speaking of male nude, its diffusion is lower, except for some particular cases, since it has been considered less interesting (if not disturbing) by the dominant “Male Gaze” (or the representation of the female universe, in the visual arts and literature, from a male and heterosexual point of view, which represents women as mere sexual objects aimed at the satisfaction of the male audience). Only since the late ’70s, thanks to the birth of the homosexual liberation movement and the advertising market, we have witnessed a new life of nude male, able to transform the male body into an erotic subject open to hedonistic contemplation.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da GASSI (@iam_gassi)

An example is the iconic body of works by Robert Mapplethorpe, attracted by the male nude since childhood, which recalls classical nudity and gives dignity and beauty to a considered degrading category of people, or the most recent portraits by the photographer Florian Hetz who, through tight close ups, immortalizes the true essence and innate sensuality of the male body.

And it is precisely on the border between art and eroticism that the narration of “Bodies” is played out, the latest project by Francesco Paolo Gassi, a young author from Puglia who investigates the physicality of the body in his practice. Francesco is literally obsessed with imperfections and the naturalness of smudging, far from the glossy aesthetic clichés: hair, skin and body fluids are his playing field, details are his favorite points of view. He moves carefully around the male body, that is at the same time, something familiar to him, but also a source of shame for a community he has had to hide his sexuality for years.

Art, pornography and taxonomy dialogue in the photographic space. The poses, meticulously studied, just as the illumination and the relationship of the body with space, suggest and allude to an eroticization of the body that is never explicit, they orient the human anatomy to emphasize the insignificant and the banal, elevating it to the object of desire. It’s an almost scientific approach that, through the photographic image, aims to make eternal the organic matter of which man is made and to reach the essence of every portrayed subject.
Thus, the male bodies become the ideal playing field on which to renegotiate identity, free from social superstructures and free from conditioning, presented to the eye of the observer in its total, disturbing and ambivalent authenticity. The project combines digital photographs with snapshots:  the unrepeatable body is perpetuated in the uniqueness of a Polaroid, as well as the quality of the digital image reflects every single detail of the epidermal specificity of each photographed body.

The male body taxonomy by Francesco Paolo Gassi
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Lise Johansson and the non-appartenence to places

Lise Johansson and the non-appartenence to places

Giorgia Massari · 5 days ago · Photography

Why do we feel we belong to some places and not others? Danish photographer Lise Johansson (1985) questions herself. This reflection is the starting point of her research, based on an analysis of the relationship between humans and the environment they inhabit. Very often our homes represent who we are, they are a reflection of our soul and character. Minimal or baroque, total white or colorful, full of objects or aseptic; in any case, we build environments tailored to us, in which we feel comfortable and which shape our person. But when we go outside the home and find ourselves relating to other environments, such as the workplace, a doctor’s office or our friend’s house, external factors come into play that we cannot control and with which we are forced to interface. Lise Johansson reasons about these unconscious dynamics that govern unconscious psychology.

In the series I’m not here, the photographer makes a series of selfies inside an abandoned hospital. The environment is aseptic and a disturbing desolation in which the white dominates relentlessly. The daylight enters through the windows, sometimes in contrast with the artificial one, accentuating the chromatic power of white, highlighted even more by the milky complexion of the photographer and her long candid dress, typical of hospital patients.
The relationship between the subject and the environment is not relaxed. One perceives a melancholy tension, typical of subjects locked inside a place. The figure almost seems to wander like a spectrum, its face is never visible because of the photographic framing and, in other cases, it is hidden inside or behind an object – like a sink or a mirror. This detail allows the woman to be present in space but at the same time not to inhabit it, as if her mind tried to escape in other directions, looking for a way out. Like the subject, the environment is vulnerable, stationary in limbo and undergoing transformation. The place exists, like the woman, but they are forgotten entities, without status and completely emptied of a soul.

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