Love (sculpture)

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For the rock band, see Love Sculpture.

LOVE is an iconic Pop Art image by American artist Robert Indiana. It consists of the letters LO over the letters VE; the O is canted sideways so that its oblong negative space creates a line leading to the V. The original image, with green and blue spaces backing red lettering, served as a print image for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card in 1964. In much this same form the design soon graced a popular US postage stamp. Its original rendering in sculpture was made in 1970 and is displayed in Indiana at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The material is COR-TEN steel [1] Indiana's LOVE design has since been reproduced in a variety of formats for rendering in displays around the world.

Significance[edit]

Original inspirations[edit]

JFK Plaza with the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the distant background

MoMA historian Deborah Wye[2] describes Indiana's image as "full of erotic, religious, autobiographical, and political underpinnings" that make it "both accessible and complex in meaning.[3][4] Megan Wilde offered more detail about the autobiographical origins in an article for Mental Floss magazine, "The word love was connected to [the artist's] childhood experiences attending a Christian Science church, where the only decoration was the wall inscription God is Love. The colors were an homage to his father, who worked at a Phillips 66 gas station during the Depression." She quotes Robert Indiana as describing the original colors as "the red and green of that sign against the blue Hoosier sky."[5]

Acquired associations[edit]

Indiana's image was quickly adapted upon its appearance in the 1960s by the hippie free love movement and again in the 1990s by skateboard enthusiasts after skateboarding was banned in Philadelphia's Love Park.[6]

Versions[edit]

Sculpture in New York City, USA

Versions of the sculpture now exist in Hebrew, Chinese, Italian and Spanish as well as the original English.

The image has been rendered and parodied in countless forms. The original book cover for Erich Segal's novel Love Story alluded to the design, and the TV series Bridget Loves Bernie included a shot of the Sixth Avenue sculpture in its opening credits. The United States Post Office issued an eight-cent stamp in 1973 featuring the image. Parodies of the image appeared on covers of records by Rage Against the Machine (Renegades), Oasis (Little by Little single) and Acen (75 Minutes). London artist D*Face parodied the image by rendering the word hate with the A tilted and Belgian artist Eddy Gabriel made a version using the word lost.[7] The sculpture is remade to read "THPS" in the Xbox expansion of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which has a stage set in Philadelphia's Love Park. The set reappears in Tony Hawk's Underground 2. Evan Greenfield's sculpture "I'm Lovin' It" alludes to Indiana's image.[citation needed]

On February 14, 2011, Google posted a special Valentine's Day edition of its logo based on the famous image.

See also List of Love sculptures

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Love" (sculpture), Explore Art: IMA Collections. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  2. ^ Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 166
  3. ^ Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 166
  4. ^ http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=68726
  5. ^ http://mentalfloss.com/article/25276/masterpieces-robert-indianas-love
  6. ^ Free Love Park, Philadelphia PA
  7. ^ Blogspot.com