Neon is the "fire of the night" according to author Tom Wolfe and it "lit the way west" according to historian/author Alan Hess. This film explores the death of this American roadside art and the artists that created it.
Neon, one of the noble gasses shines a bright light when electrified inside a glass tube, it's light is magical and has a calming, soothing effect on people. At one time neon lights defined Main Street America and lit up everything from hardware stores to cobblers, bakeries to car dealerships, motels, restaurants and casinos. Now, neon signs and lights are disappearing from our city streets and highways. The Las Vegas Strip features modern, cold, LED's and Jumbotrons that show off what you can see inside. Neon never did that, people were drawn to the light, and naturally wanted closer looks. This once all American art form is dying out and its creators are aging and dying as well. Soon, the only places you can see neon will be museums, amusement parks and art galleries. What was once free and available to every man is now restricted to those who can pay the price of admission. This film explores the history of commercial neon lights and its creators and what the future holds.Written by
I saw this at the Palm Springs Modernism Week in 2017. It was very informative about a seldom discussed art form. Several examples of notable West Coast Neon Art was shown, along with more personal interviews of current and next generation neon artists. Not a massive overview, but a good introduction.
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