Ilona Karwinska is a British photographer. She specializes in portraiture and world cultures. Based in London, she is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and the London College of Printing with a Masters degree in Image and Communication.
She has been exploring the disappearing world of Cold War Era neon and graphics for more than eight years, and has been credited with starting a new “school of neon,” as well as founding Poland’s ﬁrst Neon Muzeum. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Creative Review, Eye Magazine, Courrier International, Newsweek, and the BBC. Karwinska regularly exhibits in international galleries.
Ilona is the co-founder and director of the Neon Muzeum in Warsaw, together with UK graphic designer David S. Hill. The Neon Muzeum is a large and growing collection of cold war era neon signs, graphics and archival materials. The Neon Muzeum officially opened in May 2012 and during the European Museum Nights of 2015 the museum attracted over 18,000 visitors in a single night - breaking records. Her brand new book entitled - NEON WARSAW - (published by the Neon Muzeum, Warsaw) is now available at the Neon Muzeum and online.
Additionally, Ilona regularly participates in major international exhibitions and art fairs where she presents her limited edition figure and nude portraits for purchase.
‘Neon Warsaw' - Book published by The Neon Muzeum - NEW BOOK 2015/16
‘Polish Cold War Neon' - Book published New York. Available at The Neon Muzeum
‘Warsaw - Polish Neon’ Book published by Gazeta Wyborcza. Foreword by David Crowley
Lee - ‘Make History’ Photographic Book
New York Times Book Review
Creative Review Magazine
2015 - 'Neon Warsaw' book launch. The Neon Muzeum, Warsaw.
2014 - Permanent Exhibition. The Neon Muzeum, Warsaw.
2013 - WM Gallery Amsterdam
2010 May - Muzeum of Architecture, Wroclaw Poland. Invited Exhibition - part of European Museum Nights
2009 October - Fondation de 'l' Architecture, Luxembourg by invitation of the Ambassador of Luxembourg
2009 March - Invitation for New Neon unveiling event, Plac Konstytucji, Warsaw
2008 December - Polish Neon Book Launch. Warsaw
2007 November - PKiN - The Palace of Culture & Science, Warsaw - Polish Neon - Solo Exhibition
2007 May - Capital Culture, Covent Garden, London - Polish Neon - Solo Exhibition
2014 - Who Is Who Directory
2009 February - LEE Make History - selected from 16,000 international entries
2008 February - A4 Magazine. Artist Profile 'Eccentrics' Edition
2008 January - Awarded 'Top 50 Creatives in Warsaw' Edition. Zycie Warszawy Newspaper
2008 January - LOT - Kaleidoscope Magazine. 'Neon Lady' artist and project profile
2007 September - Creative Review Magazine. Feature Article 'Polish Neon'
2007 August - Lee Magazine 'Light of Neons'
2006 - Guardian / Penguin Book Cover Competition - First Runner Up
2008 October/November - Affordable Art Fair. Amsterdam
2008 May - Affordable Art Fair Paris. Espace Champerret - Paris
2008 March - Affordable Art Fair London. Battersea, London
2008 March - The Northern Art Show. Harrogate, UK
2008 March - Glasgow Art Fair. Glasgow, Scotland
2007 October - Poland Street Festival. The Vinyl Factory, Soho, London.
2007 Annual - Group Exhibitions at Capital Culture, Covent Garden, London
2007 March - Affordable Art Fair London. Battersea, London
2006 Annual - Group Exhibitions at Capital Culture, Covent Garden, London