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Variations on the LOVE paintings of Robert Indiana (2007)

These are mainly MS Paint bitmap 'sketches' for the full set of (about) 30 works

Each is to be 16" or 40cm square, acrylic on canvas, unless otherwise stated

Forgive me if the quality of sketches or photos is not always great, it's just a sketch page.

Stop Press: An exhibition of 12" squares was presented during the 2008 Edinburgh Festival
The catalogue for this show can be downloaded here
And though I walk home alone
My faith in Love is still devout
(S Morissey)

Variation I: LOWE (finished article ~ nfs)

Yes, it's my name. In 1971 I bought an LP of Messiaen's Turangalîla which had a print of Indiana's The Imperial Love and, inspired by this, made a parody cover for my own portfolio.

Now a company called Glitter & Twisted makes little (fragile! see foot of page) badges of the image (apparently Indiana never copyrighted it).

Variation II: ZOE (finished article ~ nfs, badly lit photo!)

The departed, if not so distant beloved, my Beatrice, my Laura,
ninfa celestial, light of my life, fire of my loins and all that crap

The reason I sign works with a Japanese DaiZo and the inspiration for the series
... and everything else
My , I guess.

Variation III: LOSS

What can one say?

Variation IV: COST

Dunno which costs more, love or loss ~ maybe I should charge more for one canvas than the other! Symbolic pricing!

Variation V: AMOR

Oh friends, not these tones! Come, let us still be romantic.
Though why Italian is more romantic than Anglo-Saxon, who can say?
Not sure about the M. Indiana did an AMOR and I'm not sure about his M either.

Variation VI: MORE

The human condition ~ never satisfied …

Variation VII: RISE

Needed a change from tilted 'O's and maybe a mild sexual reference.

I am on the side of angels and dirt, as someone once said.

Variation VIII: LURV

Love can be corny, ¿verdad?. Indeed, I thought of doing CORN but this seems to capture it better and use more of the original letter shapes.

Variation IX: ROVE

Got a rovin' eye and that is why she satisfies my soul.

Never really understood the logic of that quote but lovers can be rovers, of that there is no doubt.

Variation X: POSE (digital image on canvas)

The love-child of Bridget Riley and Bob Indiana and my eyes hurt from staring at bitmaps.

Couldn't resist it ~ lovers can be poseurs too,
though I hope no one takes this as a suggestion that the sainted Bridget is pretentious,
merely some of her fans ~ maybe ~ a bit ~ sometimes …

Variations XI: LIFE

Love is Life and where there's life, there's …

Variation XII: HOPE (almost finished article, oil on canvas, needs adjusting)

Yea, though we live in a world where none is justified, even a nihilist must find hope in something and love seems the only option.

Many claims are made as to the colour of hope, I have plumped for the Christian green.

Variation XIII: ROSE (tempera on panel)

Love oft has taken for its amulet
One perfect rose

Dorothy Parker (look it up)

'Limousine' has too many letters, that's why. And roses are too delicate for acrylics.

Variation XIV: EROS

And in Greek script, we had to go classical! And use Homeric blue and white.
I know Indiana did paintings and sculptures of AMOR and AHAVA but I don't know of an Eros.

Variations XV: SOUL and XVI: MATE

A fascinating combination, a rare find; and one to treasure ~ difficult though that can be.
Two canvases that can be clipped together ~ and not sold separately!
Even though they are all too capable (sob!) of separation.

Variation XVII: HURT

'Do you really want to hurt me?' 'And I will make you hurt'. 'Love hurts'.
Okay, we get the message. But I'm not sure about the colours yet.

Variation XVIII: VOID

Let us stare together into the abyss. Let not the delights of love
distract us from the hilarious fact that we are each of us all alone
in a cruel and empty universe. Tee hee.

Variation XIX: LONG

I long for you. How long will this last? Gosh, that's long! (sorry)

Variation XX: GONE

We can even combine the two and do a special canvas for Long Gone.

Variation XXI: La Petite Mort (probably acrylic on deep canvas, 12.5x12.5cm)

The French slang term for an orgasm. What colour are yours?

Variation XXII: AHAVA

Hebrew provides another of the very few four character words for Love.
Indiana himself has already made a version of this, stylistically somewhat different to mine.
I've gone for a vaguely Israeli flag colour scheme but I'm not sure about that.

Variations XXIII and XXIV: to HAVE and to HOLD

Variation XXV: JOKE

Ah, is it all just a cosmic jest?

Variation XXVI: LAST

Could it last in this day and age? Should we want it to? Is it worth the effort? Or are we coming to the LAST FOND KISS?

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Rabbie Burns


And so, my dear, belovéd friends, we reach the end of this set.
Is it really all over, all done? I fear so (ah, FEAR, there's an idea ...)

Variations XXIX and XXX: OVER and DONE

Other variations are of course possible.
We haven't even touched on the obvious set of four letter words to do with the more physical side of love.
Commissions could be undertaken, larger canvases, copies, digital prints,
the name of you or your loved ones ... just be sure you only go out with tetragrammatic lovers!

Stop press. A little research has shown that the swahili and runic versions
have some potential, both colourful and abstract:~

Extra Variations: HUBA (Swahili) and LOFA (Old Norse, Elder Futharc runes)

Companion Piece

Love Keeps Breaking
September 2007
(printed silk tie, broken LOVE badges, heart)
work in progress

DaiZo, 29/2/8

Yes, folks! This IS ...

... but don't let it get you ...

~ just remember to ...
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