Thursday, February 4, 2021

LOVE Letters and KISSES

Acrylic on gessoed mounted aluminum panel, 10 x 12"
Painting # 282, 2021

This is my fifth installment featuring a large chocolate Hershey's Kisses. I took a much different approach for this one. After a bit of research and brainstorming, I came up with this composition.

Robert Indiana (1928-2018) was born Robert Clark in New Castle Indiana. The Pop Art artist's is best known for his work consisting of bold, simple images and sculptures featuring numbers and short words like EAT, HUG, DIE with his most famous work being "LOVE". 

In 2008, he created the word "HOPE" for the Democratic presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Proceeds of the sales of reproduction prints were donated to Obama's campaign, raising in excess of $1,000,000. 

In 1973, "LOVE" was used by the US Postal Service for the first stamp of their on-going Love series. Some 330 million stamps were printed. The first day of issue was on January 26, 1973 in Philadelphia, PA, known as the city of brotherly love. The first-day cover features a Valentine,  since the timing of this stamp was for the annually celebrated day for lovers.

I was able to acquire two of these first-day covers on eBay. For my composition, I decided to make a few changes so that it would become more of an homage to Mr. Indiana and less of a Valentine by doing a few edits. A diffuse reflection of the Kisses chocolate is cast on the plastic film of the box, adding an extra point of interest.

During my travels, I've had the opportunity to see several of his word sculptures and paintings. Below are just a few. 

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
New Orleans Museum of Art, Dec. 2012

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Me, June 2014
Robert Indiana lived the last 40 years for his life
on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, located 15,4 miles from
the mainland. The island is accessible
by ferry from Rockland, Me.

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, March, 2013 

Montreal, QC, August, 2015

John K. Kennedy Plaza (aka- the LOVE Park)
Philadelphia, PA - Oct. 2015

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Oct. 2015

Our son Jean-Luc at Penn State
Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 2015

To acquire this painting, please contact: 

Galerie de Bellefeuille
1367 avenue Greene, 
Montreal, Quebec H3Z 2A8 
Tel: 514.933.4406