Also re-emerging out of Nevada's desert sands and into Miami sunshine are Olivia's inimitable road signs. In the on-going international project fondly referred to as "Public Displays of Affection"(PDA), Olivia co-opted Wynwood traffic signage in a guerrilla art operation across Wynwood's art district with the following aphorisms:
Trust Yourself, Know Thyself, Stay Present, Control Yourself, Forgive Yourself, Follow That Dream, Follow That Dream.
From coast to coast and continent to continent – the eagles have landed. Olivia's team of young, talented light magicians have helped her to illuminate the Magic City where she will premier many new temporary and permanent satellite installations for Art Basel Miami.
"It's moments like these when I have to ask myself: What if this is all real? I live a completely different life compared to a few years ago, a striking contrast to the way I grew up. The main difference would be the awareness and understanding of how the universe works and my role in this circus. I'm grateful for all the people who have come in and out of my life, all the lessons: the highs, the lows, the love, the hate, the setbacks and the comebacks."
See how the magic unfolded on instagram @steeleism
“VIVA LA MUERTE! This was one of my most dangerous installations to date, but hey, if you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space. What a wonderful and magic event: so many of the tribe were present and I’d like to thank everyone who traveled the distance! I’m so lucky that my art continues to bring me to spectacular locations enabling me to connect with the people I love the most.”
Olivia installed "Excuse me while I Disappear" (Perdoname mientras me Desaparesco) in Oaxaca, a Special Edition morse code installation for the Gem and Bolt mezcal picnic.
"May my manifestations empower you and amplify your process as we enter into an age of light." – Olivia Steele
The solo exhibition “Faux Real“ at Circle Culture Gallery included a collection of truisms, illusions, and illuminated metaphors. In this show, Steele created opposing contrasts to serve as a guiding light in the process of self exploration combined with the beautiful side of suffering and the quest for enlightenment. The concepts and statements on show reflected a series of personal self-realizations of the artist as she unravels the threads and unlearns layers of conditioning from a standard American upbringing in this game we all play called life.
“It’s no doubt that the future of humanity is moving into the imagination. As the gap between the impossible and the possible lessens, and the veil on reality and spirituality lifts, certain truths become more evident and hard to deny. A crucial aspect to our evolution as a human race is replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity. “Know Thyself“, a black-lit adage from this collection, brings us to reflect upon our need to nurture our imaginations in the journey to identify one’s purpose or, through self reflection, as you come to discover what is Faux and what is Real."
This year for Zona Maco, Olivia created three site-specific artworks in collaboration with the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City to adorn the hotel for the biggest art fair in Latin America. In the interior courtyard of the hotel is a cage that inspired Olivia to create an artwork inside of it, since Olivia loves what cages can represent. Inside the cage flashes Protect Me From What I Desire Know Think See Feel. In a hidden seating nook, covered with foliage, glows Our Little Secret. And then for an indoor artwork, Olivia went to the market to find a treasure to incorporate into her neon and found an antique weight scale with which she created Risk & Return.
Ciudad de México, México
Back in Tulum for the winter, Olivia had a full schedule of back-to-back installations around the beach and jungle. A series of contrasting and ethereal locations lent themselves to Olivia’s illuminated acumens for this season’s greetings. Let’s go get lost reflected in the water of a cenote as the lush jungle set the stage for a profound statement The Civilized Live In The Wild. Get Lost was positioned above the entrance to the Cave of Enlightenment as a contribution to Day Zero. These were among the multiple displays of affection this season and will be ongoing until March. If you happen to be in Tulum, you might find your way in front of one of the works. Otherwise, have a look at Olivia’s Urban Interventions for some and breathe in a little beach and jungle air.
For one of the biggest art events of the year, Olivia went all out in bringing messages in light to the city and incorporating her love for art in unexpected places. In addition to exhibits organized by her New York gallery Rumney Guggenheim at Scope Art Fair on the beach and Art Bastion in Wynwood, she was also invited to install art in a number of public spaces. It’s those in-between unexpected moments when you are outside, having a break, or perhaps just unwinding that art can really move you. Olivia teamed up with Edition Hotels to install two permanent artworks at the Miami Beach Edition, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night and Future Memories, installed in their ice-skating rink and club titled The Basement. They collaborated with Soto Sake to print over 200 books to give for free to each guest, and they celebrated Olivia’s work with a cocktail evening. Bringing her art straight to the street in a public space, Olivia installed two new large site-specific works in the windows of her friends Atrium on Collins Avenue, which will be on view all year round. Olivia also installed more ephemeral works at Edge Art Fair and the Vintro Hotel.
Summit at Sea is an intensive weekend gathering on a massive cruise ship for leaders industries across the board, from business entrepreneurs to research scientists, actors, artists, and performers, to name a few. The weekend brings these individuals together to foster an exchange of ideas between dreamers and doers “so they can make a positive impact on the world.” Olivia was invited to attend and install her artworks aboard the summit ship. OH no, a neon broke... but, luckily Olivia was able to get creative with some cardboard which ended up being loved by all aboard.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
From Ibiza all the way to Oaxaca with Love. After a production trip to Ibiza to design and create Viva La Muerte Neon, Olivia was off to Oaxaca, Mexico for the Gem and Bolt Dia de los Muertos celebration in an abandoned hacienda where Olivia installed custom neon on the front façade to welcome guests into the event. Join us next year when we celebrate again. In the meantime, try some of their magic elixir.
I traveled to install my first show in New York at the inaugural exhibition of the new Rumney Guggenheim Gallery, in the Historic Williamsburg Savings Bank in Brooklyn. The show, titled Some Place Like Home, brought together a selection of site-specific works exploring concepts of estrangement and belonging all under the thematic umbrella of domesticity. The show addressed a range of associations with the experience of home, from domestic bliss to bleakness, and all works shared this study of estrangement and belonging in both public and private spaces. I showed a total of nine works, including You Are Exactly Where You Need to Be.
Rumney Guggenheim Gallery
834 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Open to the public from October 8 to November 11
For many people, traveling to Burning Man is like coming home. On the playa, “Burners” express themselves creatively and freely, having willingly forgotten the pressures of modern culture that inhibit identity, and experience a temporary society free from consumerism. I was honored to be invited to install three artworks on the playa this year, and the experience alone was worth all the complications involved with such a process. After five years of dreaming, I finally delivered my gift of light and reflection to the playa with the installation You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be, which was a huge success. It was featured in USA TODAY and was listed as one of the “13 photos that make our nostrils flare”, by A Plus Magazine. I also had a lot of fun collaborating with Moral Turgeman on The Little House project, which debuted at Burning Man as well.
Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
After 5 years of consistent production and the creation of over 200 artworks, my studio in Berlin could no longer grow with me. It was time for an upgrade to mark the beginning of a new era. July was filled with construction, materials, problems, solutions, and plenty of creative bliss as I moved into my new studio in what used to be the canteen at the Alte Münze, Berlin’s former coin mint. Not only have I expanded, multiplied, and amplified my existing collection of “objets trouvées” and neon creations, I now have 450 m2 at my disposal for turning my dreams and visions into reality. Complete with a window gallery and full size kitchen, I look forward to hosting my clients, friends, and family. There is nothing quite like that moment of satisfaction when you finally realize what’s really possible for you. My new space is proof that dreams do come true, and happiness is only real when shared. If you're interested in a private tour or studio visit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, I traveled to Mumbai and Beirut to install my illuminated acumens in the homes of some very special collectors. It took an airplane, a boat, a carriage, and a tuk-tuk to finally hand deliver my artwork to a private residence off the coast of Mumbai. Behind a silk curtain in a beautiful home beside a stunning beach, my words rest, strategically placed to remind all who walk through the space that There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
Next stop: Beirut, another stunning home in which to install another piece of my heart. In the hills outside Beirut, surrounded by cedars and pines, the light of my father’s handwritten words See you on the other side… are now a beacon for the whole family to cherish for years to come.
It is difficult to know what to expect when meeting clients for the first time, but both Mumbai and Beirut introduced me to wonderful collectors who connected with my art on a personal level; and, through connecting with them, I left with a great sense of gratitude and inspiration. It is so reassuring to genuinely bond with those who collect my art, as well as to see firsthand that my art is exactly where it’s meant to be. This reward is why I adore my job and my life! What more could I ask for?
If you were waiting for a sign, this is it: Public Display of Affection – an extension of an ongoing international public art project, and shedding new light on the term “street art.” I ventured to the Mexican jungle this month to install a series of thought-provoking messages on industrial traffic signs immersed in nature along the rural road of the beaches of Tulum. I combined unassuming safety signs with unexpected messages like “Stay Present” and “Control Yourself” as a small token of my affection for Tulum and everyone on the same path. As I like to say, “Always something there to remind you.” My primary medium has always been neon, but due to the fact that there is limited electricity in the area, I found myself experimenting with a very different form of neon: murals. Working along side Don Pedro, a local Mayan Rotulista, I learned some techniques of the old school art of classical sign painting. Already having completed my first two murals, I look forward to experimenting further with this form and taking Public Display of Affection to new places.
Tulum, Quintana Roo, México
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Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? Well, now you can — sort of. For all the dreamers out there, introducing a new line of affordable art, for bed time. Illuminate your dreams with these limited edition blankets. The debut collection is comprised of a series of five carefully selected artworks woven into a jacquard throw. Like Steele, they are Made in the USA. Protection, warmth, inspiration: give the kind of gift that keeps on giving.
[ I WANT ONE ]
Collins Avenue is certainly no stranger to neon. Nestled in South Beach’s historic Art Deco district, a stone’s throw from the Art Basel Miami fair, you can find yourself in contact with one of Olivia's most popular Steeleisms, “All I Ever Wanted Was Everything” as you walk down the sidewalk. As an incentive to promote vision through visual art, the medium finds a new home within the walls of Atrium, South Beach’s most exceptionally curated boutique. Steele has taken over a whole window and the interior with nine illuminated installations that range from birdcages to vintage channel letters in contrast with neon acumens. Caged above its unsuspecting guests, one piece contemplates the beauty of the present moment… Paradise is where I am.
Atrium - Art Deco District
1931 Collins Ave, Miami Beach 33139
Forget your bags, this is unlike any lobby experience you’ve ever had. Once the historic headquarters of the Dresdner bank, Hotel De Rome is one of Berlin’s most spectacular hotels and now host of contemporary art. Olivia Steele, in collaboration with Circle Culture Gallery, is proud to announce a multifaceted exhibition of 11 illuminated works throughout the lobby, bar, and newly renovated “La Banca” restaurant. Let your spirit float through the floor, traveling through its illuminating dialogue as it stimulates empowering thoughts of infinite possibilities. The hotel's new design concept has unlocked a truly unique public space, setting the stage for artists to continue inspiring its lucky guests. Each guest room is complete with the newly released book of works and installations by Steele.
Hotel de Rome
Behrenstraße 37, 10117 Berlin
What do Balmain and Steele have in common? They share a piece of a corner! The Corner is Berlin’s most stylish concept store. Find the freshest mix of established labels and young designers, alongside an exciting selection of perfumes and accessories, and now the grand space exhibits five neon works of Olivia Steele. Shop, ponder, relish in extravagance and light in this unexpected shopping experience where art meets fashion.