Vivid: The Paul Hartigan Story
Paul Hartigan is New Zealand’s foremost neon artist. His large light installations - Colony in Auckland, Wellington’s Whipping the Wind and Nebula Orion in Christchurch – are amongst some of the best-known and loved public sculptures in this country.
Hartigan is also a painter and one of his first major works, The Phantom, which dates from his art school years, has become an icon of New Zealand art.
His painterly approach to neon and the influence of neon on his painting is a symbiotic thread unravelled in this lively account of his life and work.
The son of a Lebanese war bride, Hartigan’s New Plymouth childhood provided him with memories and experiences that would fuel his art. Drawn to pop culture from an early age, he created works that took their cue from international trends, distilled through a distinctly New Zealand perspective.
Hartigan’s pioneering adoption of digital technologies has paved the way for other, younger contemporary artists. His business activities took his aesthetic into a wider sphere, with enterprises such as Snake Studios and Gone on Neon defining New Zealand popular culture in the 1970s and 80s.
Vivid: The Paul Hartigan Story is a journey through the 40-year career of one of our most inventive and dynamic artists, and an essential story in the ongoing development of our country’s visual culture.
ISBN:978-0-473-33711-7, Published by RF Books, $65.00 plus P&P.