New Zealand b. 1953
Paul Hartigan has been a key figure in New Zealand art since the 1970s.
Paul Hartigan’s earliest paintings and prints reflect his interest in American Pop Art and his fascination with popular culture. Neon signs, tattoo flash, movie posters, advertising and 1950s modern design were favourite resources. Hartigan was particularly drawn to 1950s pulp comic books like The Phantom and Donald Duck for their mix of Black line and bold colour.
Hartigans’ Phantom has become the iconic image of New Zealand Pop art of the 1970s.
In 1980 Hartigan started working in neon, allowing him to draw simultaneously in light and colour. He developed a quirky personal image vocabulary, a library of jazzy hieroglyphs and modern-primitive pictograms rendered as luminous light drawings – these neon images became his recognised trademark