American Pop Art movement artist Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark on 13 September, 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. His work often consists of bold, simple, iconic images and his best known image is the word LOVE in upper-case letters, arranged in a square with a tilted letter O. The iconography first appeared in a series of poems originally written in 1958, in which Indiana stacked LO and VE on top of one another. Then in a painting with the words “Love is God”.
- His first red/green/blue LOVE print was created for the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) 1965 Christmas card.
- This was followed in 1973 when the United States (US) Postal Service distributed Indiana’s LOVE stamp.
- Sculptural versions of the image have been installed at numerous American and international locations. The sculpture LOVE is situated on Sixth Avenue at 55th Street, New York.
- In May 2011, a 12-foot LOVE sculpture – one in an edition of three identical pieces – sold for $4.1 million.
LOVE is one of the most recognised and replicated pop-art images of all time. For example, the 1970 movie “Love Story” based on Erich Segal’s novel of the same name with its famous “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” line. The Love Story logo has a distinct likeness to Indiana’s varied LOVE images and uses the same colours, however there is no leaning letter O featured, so I assume it is not one of Indiana’s originals.
- Indiana’s work is well represented throughout the US and worldwide. In 2013, the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted a retrospective of his work entitled “Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE “.
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