Cruise Through This Artist’s Neon Paradise

In a city inundated with neon signs and partially functioning LED lights, their presence can often feel hackneyed. LA artist Ginger Q. knows this. Yet, that doesn’t deter her from the versatile and appealing medium that is neon; it intrigues her.

In her most recent solo show, entitled Flip It N’ Reverse It, Ginger explored the archetypal notions of neon through subject and material. At the core of the exhibit was a neon-lined, deconstructed Cadillac. Built with collected car parts from a local junkyard, the neon caddy was a statement on rethinking classics. By lighting the metal frame in shades of blue neon, the vintage car and classical medium were pieced together in an uncommon way. The commercial and practical use of both were, well, flipped and reversed to create a delicate sculpture in an art gallery.

As an ode to her upbringing in Los Angeles, Ginger situated the neon caddy in front of a characteristic sunset of yellows, pinks, and oranges obstructed by a barbed-wire fence. The continuation of chain and heavy metals was a noticeable theme throughout the exhibition. A large silver neck chain hung above a poem dedicated to cars and Missy Elliot. And on the opposite side of the same wall: a neon with the words “Flip It N’ Reverse It” mounted on a sheet of diamond plated steel. By blending fragile neon and durable metal, Ginger aimed to alter the ways in which these materials are commonly seen in the commercial world of signage.

As promised, the neons didn’t end there. Various multi-colored circles— somewhat reminiscent of the colors in the sunset backdrop— hung above the windows at the entrance of the gallery. In the adjacent room, an old english lettered neon with the characters “G&G” floated in blinding orange, staying consistent with the artist’s theme of classics.

The neon caddy is now fuelling up to tour around galleries in the LA area. Buckle up because it’s going to be a long ride.

Words: Itxy Quintanilla, Imagery: Ginger Q