Mixed media artist Meryl Pataky has a refreshing take on the world that comes out in her art. With a focus on neon sculptures, she works primarily in a medium that is undeveloped compared to traditional mediums. Some works are strictly neon sculptures while others combine natural elements such as wood, quartz or even handmade paper. This juxtaposition of rough tactile pieces with the bright neon makes a stunning visual impact and reminds the viewer that while humans have molded the world to suit their needs, everything originates from nature.
Since neon signs can be found in many business establishments, neon artists find themselves fighting against the label of “sign maker” and have to work hard to be seen as fine artists. While you can buy products like these neon animal signs for your own home, they are very different from the neon fine-art pictured below. Pataky manages to find a balance of craftsman and artist in her work. Some of her text pieces might fit the sign maker stereotype while others leave no doubt that they are fine art creations. Meryl flip-flops from the downright scientific to the cheekily whimsical yet her essence is present in everything she does. With phrases like “in the swing of things” and “so it goes”, or the actual periodic table symbols for the elements in glowing neon her pieces are always a reflection of her.
Meryl’s new works, Headlands and Harmoniums, are on view through July 1 at Athen B. Gallery in Oakland, California for their One Year Anniversary and will be shown later this year with Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, Oregon for a solo exhibition, opening October 14.
The Sun – ink on deer hide, helium neon
So It Goes – neon (krypton gas)
Headlands – neon, mushrooms, silver and crystal
Headlands (detail) – neon, mushrooms, silver and crystal
Harmoniums – horse hair and neon glass
Harmoniums (full view) – horse hair and neon glas
The Swing of Things – neon (argon gas and mercury)
The Ace of Swords – helium neon, live succulents and moss with a steel frame
Bulking Block No. 2 – helium neon and silk roses on wood panel
The Bridge – neon installation with 30 neon tubes
Inspired By… – living wall and neon, collaboration with David Brenner, Habitat Horticulture