The Undying Neon Tinged 80s

Andreas J. Pratama


Oh, the joy of the 80s Miami, a set of imageries refuses to let go of the trend. Large shoulder padded jackets worn over T-shirts, bright colored sunglasses and baggy sweat pants are the fashion of the era. The Zeitgeist didn’t stop there, ranging from the most monumental and neon adorned architecture, the colorfully sensual arts, the bleep and the bloops of synthesizers were driven by major celebration for futurism, experimentation and outward positive outlook. Enjoying the fame were some of the most famous popular culture and TV shows the world had witnessed. Living under the same lime light as shown below is the Tv series Miami Vice against its hard hitting game of the year 2000s GTA: Vice City and its spot on depiction (if not recreation) of the Miami vice in the form of video game.


The neon pink color excites the spirit, probably one of the most memorable moment when the color pink, in this case neon pink, was so prominent that the gentlemen had no problem wearing them in public without being perceived as feminine. I would like to bring into attention the amount of futurism this era is so interested in showcasing through its bright neon lit colors. The unmistaken beat of the Depeche Mode, Jan Hammer’s Crockett Theme, the flowing melodies are almost hymn-like that they burrow into the ears. Electronic rocks were born among the high rising monumental discotheque and the shimmering disco balls. Sensualities were the name of the game. Artist like the Patrick Nagel utilized some of these neon shimmer in his illustrations, design, and product advertisements.



The 80s design of Patrick Nagel utilized straight lines, quick scribbles or basic shapes that almost counter-posed the models to slightly challenge the balanced gravity or to further reinforce symmetry creating a more dynamic composition. The composition is the name of the game here, the speed, trajectory, and centrifugal force and sense of movement is what is highlighted along with the strong and dynamic spirit of the electric 80s. Recently a game Borderlands 3 is celebrating this neon ridden moody world of the 80s in their temporal event “Revenge of the Cartel” which paid a huge homage to the world of the movie “Scarface” starring Al Pacino, the reference and the resemblance to its accompanying text is surely a big nod to the movie.

The Main Foyer of Villa Ultraviolet

The Main Foyer of Tony Montana’s Villa


Surely this style has cemented itself in the subconscious world of our mind that it will continue to be recited, remade, and referenced in the coming years. Furniture world and interior design are akin to this trend, the continual re-adaptation is happening at all times celebrating the intermarriage between the opulence of art deco revival and the spirit of technology, disco, and the peak of sensuality. So, don’t go saying goodbye just yet to one of the most memorable eras in the visual history of mankind, or as Tony Montana would surely encourage over and over again.

“Say Hello to My Little Friend”