LED art is a term developed by Guerrilla artists to describe temporary art pieces that were made using light-emitting diodes. Light Artists have developed a way to use it to create powerful pieces that immerse its viewer in a sensational atmosphere. Within all mediums of art, light plays an important role as it creates depth, contrast and detail.
Read on to discover five artists known for using LEDs in their artwork:
1. Tracy Emin
The More of You the More I Love You, 2016, Tracey Emin, Courtesy of ArtBasel
Tracy Emin is a British artist who is known for her honest and autobiographical work. She uses a wide range of mediums but is well known for her neon text. In her Neon Works, the artist bends LED lights to create powerful stories. She uses this confessional style to evoke an emotive relationship with her viewers. Emin crafts each letter with the intention of her own recognizable handwriting to convey a diary-like message to her audience.
2. Jenny Holzer
For Blenheim, 2017, Jenny Holzer, Woodstock, England, @ By the Not Forgotten Association,
Photo Courtesy of Samuel Keyte
Jenny Holzer is a conceptual and installation artist who uses text in powerful and provoking ways. Her large-scale LED displays evoke a sense of urgency as it addresses societal issues, such as feminism and sexism. The artist's rich and staggering lights engage the audience as her bold words illuminate the space.
3. James Turrell
Aten Reign, 2013, James Turrell, Courtesy of Guggenheim
James Turrell is a reputed Light and Space artist. He works to challenge the audience's perception of their surroundings as he unveils an alluring infinity of light. In Aten Reign, the artist uses a series of interlocking cones that are lined with LEDs. The layers shift in transparency and the rotating colors give the illusion of a voluptuous and never-ending space floating above.
4. Dan Flavin
'Untitled' to Henri Matisse, 1964, Dan Flavin, Courtesy of Guggenheim
Dan Flavin was a New York artist who was fascinated with the relationship between sculpture and the space it inhabited. In 1963, he found his signature style of using fluorescent tubes of light that would later evolve into more complex figurations. In his Untitled to Henri Matisse, Flavin promoted the kinship of light and color and how it is applied across mediums whether a painting or sculpture. The fluorescents that were chosen also pay tribute to Matisse's bold color and vibrant palette.
5. Ben Rubin
The Language of Diplomacy, 2011, Ben Rubin, Video by Marcel Lumberg,
Courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York
Ben Rubin is a mixed-media artist based in New York. The artist's MIT background finds him trying to merge the worlds of mechanics and art. In The Language of Diplomacy, a series of six-letter words related to Wikileaks were displayed over rows of blue and white LED lights that commanded its space. This captivating show went on for a twelve-hour cycle creating over 4200 words. The artist uses light to enrapture the viewer as he challenges them to consider politics and public affairs.