Whether you’ve explored New York City’s Times Square at night or seen one of Tracey Emin’s fluorescent scrawls about heartbreak, there’s no denying that there is a certain enchanting, garish beauty to the medium of neon. Chris Bracey certainly agrees; the owner of ‘Gods own Junkyard’ in London’s Walthamstow has been collecting and creating iconic neon art pieces for 37 years. His studio which is open to visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, is like an illuminated grotto, housing new & used neon fantasies, salvaged vintage signs and old movie props used by directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton. Bracey’s clientele includes the likes of Kate Moss, Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, and items from the ‘junkyard’ have even been used in a dazzling editorial shoot for Vogue. Admitting to a love of pop culture and citing the influence of artists such as Lichtenstein and Warhol, there is something so wondrously glamorous, decadent and kitsch about Bracey’s fluorescent pieces, especially when stacked together in his studio, which boasts the largest collection of neon art pieces in Europe.
If you share Bracey’s addiction to neon, which he likens to ‘visual cocaine’, make sure you check out God’s Own Junkyard, his current exhibition at London’s Scream Gallery or even pop into Selfridges where you can pick up your own piece of neon to take home.
By Kitty Malton
For more images and information, check out Chris’s website: godsownjunkyard.co.uk