February 10- April 9, 2016
Show Off by Toronto-based artist Nathalie Quagliotto is a neon sign based on the well-known and playful educational children’s activity “Show & Tell”, which teaches traditional norms of social behaviour by innocently showing off. Quagliotto subverts this innocence by altering the text and using the seductive glow of commercial window neon.
Quagliotto was first inspired to work with neon and commercial signs through an internship with British artist Martin Creed. By toying with a viewer’s initial familiarity with neon, she brings a sense of playfulness to her conceptual works, while also engaging the public with the gallery from the outside.
Show Off will be displayed in the window of the Art Gallery of St Albert and is viewable from outside 24 hours a day. The piece reveals how art can covertly seduce audiences and communicate with the public from beyond traditional art spaces.
“Conceptualism is the backbone of my work. Reconfiguring signs and their texts that can appear in public space that are grounds for disuse has always been a concern for my artistic practice. I’ve been highly interested in commercial window neon signs that one would find in well circulated public areas that are supposed to inform the public of their current location and about the business that hangs the sign. This type of neon is alluring to me because of its attentive capabilities to grab a hold of the viewer and cause excitement over any text. I’ve been mimicking such signs, changing text and the layout as well as the colour, and placing them in completely different settings and without accompanying reference to give a new humorously subtle meaning to the object, words, and space.”
This exhibit runs concurrent to other Gallery exhibits.
Check out this weeks Artist About Town write up about Show Off, published in the St Albert Gazette. Click Here to read all about it!