Olivia Steele - www.oliviasteele.com
Olivia Steele (b.1985 USA) lives and works in Berlin, Tulum and London. Steele has earned an international reputation for her spirited public neon happenings, harnessing the power of neon gas to assert symbolic phrasing that allures and provokes.
Her expansive career has spanned all over the globe, from Tulum to Berlin to Mumbai, in the form of site-specific land art and indoor installation. Aside from the immediately iconic and often humorous style of Steele’s work, her interventions are pointedly placed in environments that prompt existential musings.
Proving that “it is the spectator and not life that art really mirrors,” Steele’s oeuvre is a synthesis of contrast and contradiction. She encapsulates the contemporary storyteller and uses the traditional medium of neon to form her striking expressions that address the vortex of modernity.
Her neon works are short, punctuated truths that mirror the ingenuity (or malaise) of the digital age. Her glass acumens are often paired with incendiary imagery – explosive atomic bombs and religious symbols – that are evocative stimuli for the viewer.
“My signs are installed in surprising environments, which manifest as unexpected intrusions of beauty, and awaken the viewer out of a state of inertia. I believe civilization is hungry for this. The future of humanity is moving into the imagination; asthe veil slowly slips on the world that’s been imagined for us. And as we enter into this new paradigm, an age of light, it is important to embrace the mystery and heed the signs. If you were waiting for a sign, this is it.”