The neon artist and designer Chris Bracey has passed away in his sleep on Saturday, the artist had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Bracey’s wife Linda said that she had lost “a wonderful husband”; and that she was ‘grateful for a long and loving marriage to a warm, talented, kind and funny man who has left the world a more colourful and vibrant place,” she said in a statement to the press.
The British artist and collector ran ‘God’s Own Junkyard’, a warehouse in Walthamstow, London. The location housed one of the biggest collections of neon signs and sculptures outside of America.
The neon artist started his career making signs for Soho’s sex shops – but soon Bracey was supplying his neon art for films such as Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, Tim Burton’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and Burton’s ‘Batman’, starring Michael Keaton. The artist was also commissioned by the V&A delivering a Bowie-inspired lightning bolt for the venue’s 2013 Bowie exhibition.
Celebrities and artists that were known to have collected Bracey include Damien Hirst, Jude Law, Kate Moss, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Richard Curtis, Ray Winstone, Tim Burton, and Vivienne Westwood.
Last year, the artist staged his first solo exhibition, ‘I’ve Looked Up to Heaven and Been Down to Hell’; and his neon work is currently on display in Selfridges’ shop windows and above its main entrance on Oxford Street.
Bracey is survived by his wife Linda and their sons, Marcus, Matthew and Max, who have promised to continue running God’s Own Junkyard in the artist’s name.