Friday, April 6, 2018

God is love

Do we always remember that God is love? Little Bobby Clark remembered, and the idea influenced his life.

Born in New Castle, Indiana, in 1928, he attended a Christian Science Sunday school in Indianapolis as a lad. He was impressed by a large plaque hanging on the wall which said GOD IS LOVE. The idea stuck in his mind after he moved to New York City in 1954, changed his name to Robert Indiana, and  eventually became a famous artist.

Inspired by poets like Gertrude Stein, he was deeply interested in the written word. His composition of LOVE is innovative in the way it dissolves divisions between seeing and reading. He described the character of this work as "verbal-visual."

LOVE is a sophisticated abstract composition, but also a one-word poem. He arranged the word with stacked letters touching each other to suggest intimacy. He created many variations, including a design for a Christmas card, and another for a U.S. postage stamp. Perhaps you recall buying 8-cent "love stamps" in 1973?

Many assume the original work was a protest to the Vietnam War, but Indiana has said often that he got the idea from the motto he learned as a child in Sunday school.

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