Remember when we thought Las Vegas was the neon light capital of the world? Well after Thomas E. Rinaldi’s recently released book “New York Neon,” which combines historical information around the 200 New York City neon signs that he photographed, comes this – an architect who doubles as another neon art connoisseur in NYC.
Kirsten Hively was recently featured in an collectorsweekly.com article because she’s not only behind an iPhone app that allows users to see where the nearest neon sign is located in their area, and rate them, but owns an incredible Flickr account that features over 1,100 photographs of neon signs around NYC. The best part about these photos — they’re all taken at night, showing the vintage style neon art while the background fades into darkness.
Hively told Collectors Weekly she always had a fascination with neon signs, taking photographs to print them out to hang on her wall. And although she took photographs of neon signs in other cities, she never took photos of neon signs in the city she lived in – New York.
As congested and mammoth a city New York is, the project of photographing neon signs was quite simple. All she had to do was stroll throughout town. If she saw a neon sign during the day, she’d map it out so she could take a picture of it later at night.
Well, an outstanding Flickr account, an iPhone app and a Project Neon Tumblr blog later, she can very well consider herself an expert in the neon art field as much as anyone else, as well as being an outstanding photographer to boot. Snapping a photo of a vintage neon sign isn’t easy with a point and shoot camera. But her ability to drown out the background while purely focusing on the neon signs is something to be desired.
Just scrolling through her Flickr page, which boasts almost 20,000 views, you can see neon alive and well in the Big Apple, something her and I hope will never change.