Palos Verdes Art Center is pleased to announce THIS IS NOT A SIGN, a major West Coast exhibition of works in neon by Los Angeles-based American artist Michael Flechtner. The exhibition is curated by Joe Baker, and will open September 10 at Palos Verdes Art Center and continue through December 31, 2016.
Born in Ohio, Michael Flechtner received his BFA at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio and his MFA at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas before training in neon fabrication.
“Neon, more properly luminous tube, has been my medium of expression for nearly a decade. It has replaced the paint and sculptural materials I used as a student. I’m ever mindful of the compelling nature of this pure, colored, glowing light and the tendency of many to see “all things neon” as signage or kitsch. It is my experience that the more traditional viewer and critic resist seeing neon as a fine art medium,” says Michael Flechtner.
“My work reflects a fascination with the symbols of language, technology and how they influence popular culture. I describe animals, machinery, etc., and utilize various forms of language. I bring forth and arrange this highly idiosyncratic material to create pictograms, ideograms, and rebuses, surely the effects of my unconscious. Through the creation of these pieces, I work through and process personal issues and attitudes. Each piece is a complete record of that process. In spite of this focus on my inner self, this work is for everyone. To that end the figures are recognizable and the compositions are pleasing to the eye. And if the viewer wants more, they can apply their own meanings and interpretations which I feel are as relevant as my own.
Michael Flechtner has received a J. Paul Getty Trust Fund Fellowship for the Visual Arts, the Botticelli Award, and Ford Foundation Award. His public works are in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Tokyo; in 2010, he was commissioned by the USPS to create the “Neon Celebrate Forever Stamp.
Flechtner has exhibited and is collected internationally, and has been featured on PBS, CBS News, Fox, Los Angeles Times, Gourmet Magazine, and publications in Japan among other places.