It’s one thing to recycle your Motley Crue t-shirt into a kerchief for Fido. It’s quite another to recycle myriad, vintage glass bottles into a mad scientist’s steampunk show of literate light elixirs.
Bottom line, Go Go’ers, don’t try to capture lightning in a bottle at home; leave it to experts like neon artist Bill Concannon and his hand-chosen band of merry pranksters whose work will be featured in a Museum of Neon Art group show as F.O.B. (“Friends of Bill”) in conjunction with Concannon’s solo, featured show, “Recycled, Reclaimed, and Reinvented”.
Per the show’s title, Aargon Neon founder Concannon, who teaches neon sculpture at the Art Academy University in San Francisco, collects to create, using found and discarded objects such as plastic bags, corrugated metal, and the aforementioned glass bottles to comment on “consumerism, politics, and the erotic psyche”. Concannon’s installation “Bill’s Bottle Shop” features bottles flickering with neon messages such as “Love and Hate”. (No hint as to whether Concannon was inspired by Night of the Hunter, Do the Right Thing, or both.)
The F.O.B. group show features work by nine artists including Concannon’s mentor Larry Albright (whose neon work is in theme and amusement parks all over the world), Shawna Peterson (whose company, Peterson Neon, is restoring the Castro Theater sign in San Francisco), and colleagues such as Stuart Ziff (who has created neon props for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Total Recall.) Expect Jerico Woggon‘s installation to sweep you into the gallery on a wave of black light neon; it’s the perfect time to break out those summer whites, Go Go’ers.
For a double dose night of neon, get to the gallery at 7:30PM to check out the show, nosh, and imbibe, then keep the glow going with MONA’s 8:00PM Neon Cruise. (Buy tix beforehand, Go Go’ers, so you’re not disappointed; the tours almost always sell out. NOTE: Your cruise ticket includes entry to the reception.) Eric Lynxwiler (who was just dubbed “Mr. Saturday Night” in the L.A. Weekly‘s “60 Most Interesting People in Los Angeles” issue) is your loquacious and erudite Cruise Director as you navigate L.A.’s neon signs at bird’s eye level from the top of the double-decker bus. The bus pit-stops at neon-fabulous Chinatown and Canter’s Deli but don’t count on enough time to order chow mein or chopped liver.
Lynxwiler has occasionally been known to stop at the Frolic Room to wet his whistle so he can continue to wax eloquently to rapt cruisers but the regular tour doesn’t make dedicated bar stops like the now-discontinued Poet’s Beat Neon Cruise of yore. If you need a nightcap after navigating the neon jungle, stop by the Broadway Bar whose expansive, but restrained neon sign and alluring, dimly lit interior hint at hushed conversations and discreet assignations.
Perfect for getting to know that special someone you met under the red neon “Jesus Saves” sign.
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….