Robert Indiana (formerly Robert Clark) first expressed the essential iconography of “LOVE” in 1958 but it wasn’t until 1964 that the image garnered wide public notice, via a Christmas card commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the first three-dimensional LOVE sculptures has stood, since 1970, in front of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Like many metal artworks designed to stand out in the open, the IMA’s LOVE sculpture is made from Cor-ten steel, an alloy that weathers to a rich, slightly iridescent, purplish-brown patina after years of seasonal changes. The sculpture measures 12′ x 12′ x 6′ and has recently undergone a structural and aesthetic restoration.
I LOVE New York
There are currently around 50 LOVE sculptures installed in public and private spaces worldwide. Some are better-known than others, mainly due to their proximity to pedestrian traffic. One of the first NYC LOVE sculptures was installed at 59th Street and 5th Avenue in 1971, while perhaps the most prominent NYC LOVE sculpture stands at the corner of 6th Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan. Kudos to Flickr users Chee917 and Robert Wright (wrightrkuk), who snapped the sculpture in 2012.
LOVE Is Blue
Most of the world’s LOVE sculptures have red painted facades with blue or blue & green sides to match Indiana’s original MOMA card and popular USPS stamp. This isn’t a must, however, as Indiana famously neglected to properly copyright the work. This bright blue representation outside 1445 West Georgia Street in Vancouver, Canada (later moved) shares its blue & green color scheme with another LOVE sculpture located at the Park Mall in Singapore.
Reflections of LOVE
Photographer Wassily from nl brings us the striking scene above. Featuring a large LOVE sculpture set into the reflecting pool outside the Langen Foundation’s main building in Neuss-Holzheim, Germany, the photo dates from 2005 shortly after the building opened.