This series is an exploration of sculptures with neon and found objects. After 16 years of creating small assemblage works with vintage found objects, and exhibiting in many solo and group shows, I was commissioned in May of 2017 to create two 40” x 40” assemblage pieces (the largest pieces I had created to date) which now hang in the lobby of the Quincy Marriott Hotel near Boston, my imagination took me to places of possibility and ‘going big.’
I am attracted to vintage objects which have a patina of history, hinting at the lives of the people who used them to work, manufacture, create and sustain life. The diverse pieces I find all over the USA speak to me and often inform the addition of neon light, which brings them back to reincarnated life. The inspiration for this series also came to me at a pivotal time in my life – during the last weeks of life for my loving father, Reg Lathim. During the time I was with him in his final days on the planet,
the images for these pieces were delivered to me from the ancestors and muses from that magical, creative wonderland around us. I felt Da’s presence in these images and he continues to inspire my work.
Although I had very little knowledge of neon light, I was drawn to it - or more accurately lead to it on a spiritual path. Neon light is created by combusting gas with electrical charge inside glass tubing, The light created is unique to simply observing a flat ‘color.’ The colors created by neon are alive - they are energy and light created by elements of nature. I am drawn to the ethereal, radiant light of neon. It is the closest thing I have found in our physical world to the light of life and love that radiates from our bodies (some call this our aura).
Each work I create is one-of-a-kind. I use real, ‘old school’ neon (glass tubes that are pumped with various gasses – neon, argon and krypton) – and I use colors not traditionally seen in neon pieces. My works use solid neon and sometimes beaded neon which is a rarely seen type of neon that makes a chain of little beads of light that travel through the glass tubes.
I enjoy creating pieces that evoke stories from viewers – or simply offer a taste of whimsy, color and light. My career as a director/producer/playwright has been built around creating and telling stories of the human condition, hope, spiritual journeys, redemption and triumph. I like to think that this same spirit lives in my visual art. I have created commissioned works for private and commercial clients. I have had numerous solo shows and have exhibited in group shows in galleries in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs.
I dedicate this series of LightWorks to my Dad, whose abundant love and support was instrumental in making me the man I am today. My tribute to my Mom’s life was my autobiographical play UNFINISHED BUSINESS. My tribute to my Dad is of Light and Legacy. Dad honored legacy and he and my Mom created a family legacy that is rich in traditions, compassion, authenticity and love.
During the summer of 2021, as the world comes back to life and COVID fades away, I am honored to be showing in the Locals’ Collective Store at 931 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. Open Wednesdays through Sundays. My newest works will be for sale in this beautifully designed collection of area artisans. If you have interest in a custom piece, I am happy to work with you to create one to your liking.