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Monday, December 21, 2015

Photo Essay: Behold, the Museum of Neon Art (Updated for 2018)

Last Updated 7/17/18 7:07 PM PT

It's been a long time, waiting for the Museum of Neon Art to reopen.



For me, it's been a lifetime.



You see, the museum closed its original location in Downtown LA just a few months after I moved to LA...



...before I really knew what it was or had the chance to visit.



And now, it's about time for it to reopen!



Thanks to the museum's Neon Cruise and my own self-guided safaris, I've gotten to know the noble gas art expressions of LA...



...but it's really something to see preserved pieces of pop culture...



...as well as some new works.



In addition to the front display on the wall of the gift shop, the main gallery in the back is also in somewhat of a soft open stage...



...with a group exhibit of neon and kinetic art called "Illuminations!"



So this is a great opportunity to look at neon not through the lens of nostalgia, but with a gaze towards contemporary art...



...and expression with color and light.



Neon is an art that moves—whether it's the turning on-and-off of basic animations, or the noble gasses moving around inside luminous tubes.



This exhibit also includes some works that deal with plasma light, like glass artist Ed Kirschner's "Tower of Chaos" and "Plasma Rising"...



...which are both mesmerizing and electrifying.



Inside the Museum of Neon Art, it could be day or night...



...any day or any night.



After staring at Lisa Schulte's "The Conversation" wall installation for awhile...



...reading the sideward faces...



...you might stumble out into the daylight, wondering what day it is...


circa 2018

...and where all the colors have gone.


circa 2018

I wonder if they would let me sleep over.


circa 2018

I always sleep better with a light left on.


circa 2018

Update: In July 2018, I returned to MONA to check out its current show...


circa 2018

...a double feature of "There’s More to Neon Signs Than Liquor, Motels and Live Nude Girls" and "Motel California."


circa 2018

I got to see the Indian Chief moved out of storage and all lit up...


circa 2018

...and visit a new acquisition, the neon sign from The Tinder Box tobacco store that closed in May 2017.

As the exhibitions change every few monthsI'll continue to chronicle my visits to MONA and post some of my favorites here.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: The Neon of LA, and Its One Darkened Dragon
Photo Essay: The Collection of the Museum of Neon Art, In Storage
Photo Essay: Neon Boneyard At Night
Photo Essay: The Treasures of an LA Tourist Trap, Universal Studios