Neon Gets a New Spin in Olivia Steel’s Provocative and Ironic Lyrical Art

Neon gets a bad rap, probably due to its starring role in garish ’80s clothing, highlighter parties, and mini-mart signs. But conceptual artist Olivia Steele is helping to rescue neon from its lowbrow stigma with her introspective lyrical structures. In works we spotted on Trendland, Steele fashions personal and provocative statements out of the traditionally commercial medium and juxtaposes them with iconic photographs and symbols. By charging these famous images with ironic and spiritual commentary, she challenges viewers’ assumptions about modern culture and conventional semiotics. Many of her more sentimental neon statements straddle the line between sincerity and sarcasm, leaving the viewer intrigued. In Steele’s own words, “Good, bad, right or wrong, it’s all relative. Art is notoriously ambiguous.”

Photo credit: Olivia Steele