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BENAH BOOK CLUB | NEON LOVERS GLOW IN THE DARK

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Publisher/Copyright : Museum of Neon Art Los Angeles
Artist : Lili Lakich
Printed and Bound by Dai Nippon Co. Tokyo Japan
Pages: 96 pages
Cover: Hardcover cloth bound with foil emboss
Publication Date: 1986
Language: English

 

Lili Lakich (born June 4, 1944) is a pioneer of neon sculpture. She began making art in the 60's and choose neon because at the time no one had considered it a medium worthy of fine art. It was a medium for advertising - sleazy bars, shoe repair shops and cheap motels. It was the connection between the stigma of neon and the equal contempt with which emotions are regarded in our culture that informed Lili's early work. Her first light sculpture was a self-portrait with tiny light bulbs controlled by a motor, blinking down her face like tears. 
"For the first time in my life, I felt that I had really and absolutely expressed myself. For me, art is cathartic—-a means of packaging emotion and exorcising it. Once I had made a portrait of myself crying, I could stop crying. The sculpture cried for me. If you can express mangled feelings in a work of art, you can overpower them. They then exist as a set of lines, colours and forms. They're no longer an amorphous nausea eating away at your gut. They're incorporated into an object. You can see it. You can hang it on a wall. And if you can make it beautiful, you can somehow feel that it has sanctity...that it is an icon capable of arousing an emotional response in other people as well." 
"We are given support for denying our emotions, for not being 'hung up', for not wallowing in depression or pain, for not expressing and opinion for fear of hurting someone. I believe in emotion. I believe in wallowing in it"
It was these emotions that lead her to create our favourite work in the book - Vacancy/No Vacancy (1973). A contemporary Madonna who puts forward her availability or lack of it in no certain terms. A flick of a switch will change her from an open and willing seeker of intimacy to a woman who needs nothing from anyone.


Neon Lovers Glow In The Dark was published in conjunction with her exhibition of the same name in 1986. But its so much more than a catalogue of the art, its a personal journey through her creative process and inspirations which lead to the development and creation of each sculpture. Featuring illustrations, photos and colour plates, It is a highly personal document by one of the pioneers of neon art.

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