DTLA Book Cover Artists

DTLA Book 2019—Leticia Maldonado, a neon artist

Inspired by the glowing signs of Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Leticia “Tiza” Maldonado is part of a new-wave group of artists taking the art of neon to the next level.

The blinking, hypnotic history of neon in Los Angeles begins with the convergence of consumerism and art in the 1920s, booms through the golden age of new advertising in the 1930s, falls out of favor as an emblem of urban decay in the 1960s and ’70s, and resurfaces, thanks to the Museum of Neon Art, in the 1980s. In the future, however, it might look something like the organic forms of Leticia Maldonado. The 38-year-old artist grew up in Las Vegas, where many evenings, she sat in the car with her stepfather, waiting for her mother, a showgirl known as Gypsy Louise, to come off her shift at the Flamingo Hotel...